PORK BARRELL SPENDING REACHES RECORD HIGH IN 2005
April 7, 2006
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has released its 2006 Congressional Pig Book. The Pig Book is CAGW's annual compilation of all the pork-barrel projects in the federal budget.
The 2006 Pig Book identifies 9,963 pork projects in the 11 appropriations bills for fiscal 2006, a 29 percent decrease over last year's total of 13,997. However, the total cost of these earmarks is a record $29 billion, or 6.2 percent more than last year's total of $27.3 billion. The cost of pork has increased by 29 percent since fiscal 2003. CAGW has identified $241 billion of pork since 1991.
The Pig Book features a complete database of projects, profiles the most egregious examples, breaks down pork per capita by state, and presents the annual Oinker Awards. Highlights include:
- $1 million for the Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative;
- $550,000 for the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington;
- $500,000 for the Sparta Teapot Museum in Sparta, North Carolina;
- $500,000 for the Arctic Winter Games in Alaska;
- $250,000 for the National Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa; and
- $100,000 for the Richard Steele Boxing Club in Henderson, Nevada;
Pork-barrel spending illustrates and contributes to the meltdown of spending restraint in Washington, says CAGW President Tom Schatz. Instead of averting an impending fiscal crisis, members of Congress are grabbing the spoils to support their own re-election.
Efforts to overhaul rules governing earmarks are under way in both the House and Senate.
Source: Associated Press, "'Pork Barrel' Spending Hit Record High in 2005, Watchdog Says," Foxnews.com, April 05, 2006; based upon: "The Congressional Pig Book: 2006," Citizens Against Government Waste, April 5, 2006.
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