NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

THE 2005 OINKER AWARDS

April 19, 2005

Just in time for Tax Day, CAGW recently released the 2005 Congressional Pig Book which compiles the wasteful pet projects of gluttonous appropriators. Congress managed to jam 13,997 pork projects into the 13 appropriations bills for a total of $27.3 billion.

More alarming news for taxpayers is that Congress? behavior is getting worse. Despite record budget deficits, members of Congress have increased both the number and cost of pork projects for their home districts and states to record amounts. Here are just a few examples of pork for which taxpayers are footing the bill:

  • $4,989,000 to Hot Springs National Parks to rehabilitate/stabilize bathhouses for adaptive reuse in Arkansas.
  • $1,790,000 for berry research in Alaska.
  • $1,500,000 to the Missouri Historical Society for an articles relating to the Congressional career of the Honorable Richard A. Gephardt.
  • $1,148,000 for dietary intervention in Ohio.
  • $1,000,000 for the Oklahoma City Water Taxi.

The top three increases in pork from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2005 were: Homeland Security from $423 million to $1.72 billion (306 percent); Energy and Water from $714 million to $1.88 billion (163 percent); and Labor/HHS from $943 million to $1.7 billion (80 percent).

Alaska again led the nation with $985 per capita ($646 million), or 30 times the national pork average of $33. The runners up were the District of Columbia with $461 per capita ($257 million) and Hawaii with $454 per capita ($574 million).

The biggest disappointment is the way appropriators loaded up the Homeland Security Appropriations Act with total disregard to both our fiscal and physical security. The 570 projects, totaling $4.7 billion, in this year's Congressional Pig Book Summary symbolize the most egregious and blatant examples of pork.

Source: "2005 Congressional Pig Book," Citizens Against Government Waste, April 6, 2005.

 

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