NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Political Pork Keeps Sizzling

December 11, 1997

President Clinton has been timid in using his new line-item veto to strike wasteful spending projects from the 1998 fiscal year budget, says Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Out of more than $800 billion of spending included in 13 appropriations bills, Clinton eliminated only $491 million worth -- less than one-tenth of one percent.

McCain has drawn up a list of projects he says are totally unnecessary and should have been axed, including:

  • A $3 million grant to the International Fertilizer Development Center and $300,000 for an El Paso, Texas, highway.
  • An army project costing tens of millions of dollars to build a bridge to give 8,500 University of Alaska students access to the Golden Zone Mine.
  • Nondefense projects totaling $26 million tucked into Department of Defense appropriations.
  • Spending $400,000 each for research on the Preble's Meadow jumping mouse and the Alabama sturgeon.

The list goes on:

  • A $150,000 grant to the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness and $6.25 million to the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture in West Virginia.
  • Some $3.3 million for shrimp aquaculture research.
  • The $540,000 doled out to various agriculture research efforts -- including dairy and meat goat research in Texas, poult enteritis mortality syndrome research in Georgia, hops research in Oregon and phytophthora root rot research in New Mexico.

The group Citizens Against Government Waste estimates such unnecessary projects cost American taxpayers about $8 billion a year.

Source: Sen. John McCain, "Line Item Languor," New York Times, December 11, 1997.


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