Republican Swine

The 2006 Congressional Pig Book.

The 2006 Congressional Pig Book is the latest installment of Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW) 16-year exposé of pork-barrel spending. This year’s list includes: $13,500,000 for the International Fund for Ireland, which helped finance the World Toilet Summit; $6,435,000 for wood utilization research; $1,000,000 for the Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative; and $500,000 for the Sparta Teapot Museum in Sparta, N.C.

This year, there was good news and bad news. For fiscal 2006, appropriators stuffed 9,963 projects into the 11 appropriations bills, a 29 percent decrease over last year’s total of 13,997. Despite the reduction in the number of earmarks, Congress porked out at record dollar levels with $29 billion in pork for 2006, or 6.2 percent more than last year’s total of $27.3 billion. In fact, the total cost of pork has increased by 29 percent since fiscal 2003. Total pork identified by CAGW since 1991 adds up to $241 billion.

Even though Alaska led the nation with $489 per capita ($325 million), it was less than half of Alaska’s 2005 per capita number of $985. The runners up in 2006 were Hawaii with $378 per capita ($482 million) and the District of Columbia with $182 per capita ($100 million). Alaska’s drop can be attributed to Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-Alaska) descent from the throne as Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman.

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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    The nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste calls itself America’s No. 1 taxpayer watchdog, and the group’s annual “Pig Book” detailing the government’s most wasteful spending programs has been praised by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain. But it turns out the group also acts as a lobbying firm with paying clients � including Mexican Avocado Growers, who paid $100,000 to lobby against restrictions on avocado imports and the tobacco companies, which paid at least $245,000 to urge the federal government not to regulate the industry.

    The St. Petersburg Times reports that 22 percent of CAGW’s funding comes from corporations, but the group’s president refused to reveal who it represents, and argues that the lobbying campaigns are consistent with the group’s anti-regulation mission.

    You’ll pardon me if I don’t accept their statements on face value, alone.

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    Bithead,

    It is pretty well established that Pork Barrel spending took off after the 2001.

    As for the lobbying, looks good to me. I’m generally opposed to restrictions on trade.

  3. Mac says:

    Then… respectfully, what was your point?

    You post a piece titled Republican Swine, with a picture of Trent Lott suckling at the trough – knowing that earlier this week Lott absolutely unashamedly put a knife in the heart of legislation designed to drag earmarking out into the light and then turned around and made a public statement saying he was “Damned tired” of all these people trying to stop pork-barrel spending…

    Then… when a reader posts a comment that clearly exposes this organization as a K-Street front – you say “Okay with me.”?

    This is why Republicans and the GOP are going to get SHELLACKED this November.

    By allowing us to become the party of Greed and Free Trade Extremism we’ve given up our claim on being the party of the authentic grass-roots conservatism and the individual.

    Instead we’ve become the Party of WalMart.

    This November we’re going to pay for it with both houses of congress and the presidency.

    When one of the most corrupt and sinister women in the world becomes President of the United States because we’ve abandoned our true principles and sold out our conservative base – then maybe people will clean house and the Right will move back to w here it belongs.

    -Mac-

  4. Steve Verdon says:

    Then� respectfully, what was your point?

    knowing that earlier this week Lott absolutely unashamedly put a knife in the heart of legislation designed to drag earmarking out into the light and then turned around and made a public statement saying he was �Damned tired� of all these people trying to stop pork-barrel spending�

    Bingo, give that man a cigar!

    As for the lobbying, it is lobbying for things I think is goog: more competition. More competition generally means lower prices, which is good for consumers. It also means lower economic profits (i.e. rents–note for the person not familiar with the term rents, they are a bad thing generally) and smaller or no deadweight loss.

    It isn’t that I support any and all lobbying, but that the lobbying that was done by CAGW was good lobbying.

    When one of the most corrupt and sinister women in the world becomes President of the United States because we�ve abandoned our true principles and sold out our conservative base – then maybe people will clean house and the Right will move back to w here it belongs.

    Sounds like your problem isn’t with my post, but with what appears to be your political party. Thankfully, I’m not a Republican.

    Nor a Democrat.