NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 24, 2008

The Washington Policy Center (WPC) and the D.C.-based group, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), recently released "The Washington State Piglet Book: Connecting the Dots on How Government Wastes Your Money."  According to Paul Gruppy, WPC Vice President for research and author of the book, more than $160 million in earmarks and wasteful spending bedevils the Washington state budget.

Some of the more ridiculous items noted by Gruppy:

  • $2.5 million to a wealthy tribal casino.
  • $1.5 million for decorative lights on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
  • $1.5 million in wasteful spending at the State Motor Pool.
  • $442, 000 for the short lived "Say WA" tourism campaign.
  • $300,000 in Medicaid checks and pension payments to dead people.
  • $66,000 for Christmas tree inspections.

The WPC has proposed creating a searchable website for all state spending as a step in the right direction of remedying earmarks and wasteful spending.  The idea has gained the support of the governor's office, the State auditor, Attorney General, and bipartisan group of legislators.

Reports that the state will likely face a $2.5 billion deficit by 2013 due to the rampant growth in spending over the last four years only reinforces the need for budget transparency and limiting expenditures to the core functions of government, says the WPC.

Source: Paul Guppy, "The Washington State Piglet Book," Washington Policy Center, 2008.


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