Thursday, April 03, 2008

Oink, Oink from the Federal Government

The government is at it again. They are feeding the pork at the expense of taxpayers. Each year Citizens Against Government Waste releases its annual report of wasteful government programs designed to assure the reelection of politicians. "Earmark" spending is used by Members of Congress to bring home projects to Congressional districts and states that politicians can point to in order to help get reelected. What did they find in 2008?

Citizens Against Government Waste has dug up $17.2 billion in pork and that waste covers a plethora of areas. Here are a few examples:

In Agriculture: "$15,115,446 for 17 projects by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), including: $3,723,750for a Natural Products Lab; $2,780,400 for the Jamie Whitten Delta States Research Center; $1,075,419 for the Agricultural Wildlife Conservation Center; $849,015 for genomics for southern crop stress and disease research; $511,395 for biotechnology research;and $229,383 for rural systems research."

In Commerce: "$146,708,000 for 63 projects by CJS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), including: $5,640,000for the Marshall Space Flight Center; $470,000 for a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)Maritime Museum in Mobile; $329,000 for American Village Citizenship Trust Montevallo for character programs in at-risk areas (the group’s website boasts that its mission is to “...to strengthen and renew the foundations of American liberty and self-government through citizenship education.”In addition to these lofty goals, young lovers can rent out the chapel and the barn to get married for $2,650.); $235,000 for the Foley Police Department for communications upgrades; and$235,000 for West Alabama Marine Shrimp and Fish Aquaculture to develop new methods and find efficiency in the development of marine shrimp and fish aquaculture using ponds and the salinic water of West Alabama."

In Defense: "$173,200,000 for 25 projects by Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), including:$25,000,000 for the Hawaii Federal Health Care Network;$23,000,000 for the Maui Space Surveillance System operations &research; $10,000,000 for the National Defense Center of Excellence for Research in Ocean Sciences; $5,000,000 for the Maui High Performance Computing Center; $3,500,000 for Army conservation and ecosystem management; $3,000,000 for the Hawaii National Guard Counter-Drug Program; and $2,000,000 for Brown Tree Snakes."

The list goes on and includes energy, finances, and other guilty culprits. I recommend reading the summary here. The criticism crosses party lines and guilty parties among the GOP and Democrats are quick to throw hand grenades. But I have been familiar with the group for 25 years, back when it was called the Grace Commission, which was appointed by Ronald Reagan and led by J. Peter Grace. I, for one, have long been grateful to the contributions they make.

How did the Presidential candidates fair in the Report? Well, Senator Hillary Clinton secured 281 projects totaling $296 million, and Obama won 53 projects totaling $97 million, according to the group. How about John McCain? Zero. He doesn't believe such an approach to government spending is ethical and votes against earmarks at every opportunity and will not offer them (and hasn't offered them in years).
How did your elected officials spend?

For a copy of the free report, "Why Your Marketing Isn't Working," email Info@HoustonBusinessShow.com and put "marketing" in the subject line.

Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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Anonymous Jim Floor said...

Government is out of control because they disregard the Constitution. The problem is legal more than economic.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You paint with a pretty broad brush. These programs help many people too!

10:56 PM  

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