Information  from  CAGW

Citizens Against Government Waste is an excellent source of information about unnecessary spending of taxpayers' money for projects which primarily benefit the re-election prospects of the politicians involved.  In other words, it's tax money spent on political favors, and tax money used to buy votes.  (By that I mean not only the constituents' votes, but votes in Congress which are bought and sold with "pet projects".)  When I first began to research the subject of frivolous and extravagant "pork barrel" projects, one of the first and best sources of information I discovered was CAGW.  Here is some of the material I have found at their web site, and information I have found elsewhere on the internet which mentions CAGW.

The latest:
The 2012 Pig Book  includes discussion of earmarks such as
$8,000,000 for Global HIV/AIDS prevention
$5,000,000 for the Starbase Youth Program
$3,000,000 for aquatic plant control
$38,522,000 for the high intensity drug trafficking areas program
$48,500,000 for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium
$3,388,000 for national fish hatchery system operations
$114,770,000 for the United Nations Democracy Fund
$5,870,000 for the East-West Center in Hawaii
$5,009,000 for the International Fisheries Commission
$9,980,000 for assistance to small shipyards
$6,000,000 for a small community air service development program

Pigs at the trough.  Compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), the "Pig Book" lists some of the more outrageous spending indulged in by our "public servants" in pursuit of the only bipartisan activities still practiced in Washington: spending and re-election.  There are 9,129 pork barrel projects listed in the "2010 Congressional Pig Book."

Barney Frank Named 'Porker of the Month' by Government Watchdog.  Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has been named "Porker of the Month" by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) because of his criticism of bonuses for AIG employees while Frank himself has supported bailouts for failing banks and lenders.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is CAGW's October Porker of the Month.  Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) its October Porker of the Month.  The four-term senator from Texas is loading up her goodie bag just before Halloween as she prepares to leave the Senate to run for governor.  While claiming to be a fiscal conservative, Sen. Hutchison requested 149 projects worth $1.6 billion for authorization and appropriations bills for fiscal year 2010.

Congress Serves Up $17.2 Billion in Pork.  Tax time is approaching and millions of Americans are facing tough economic times, but that hasn't stopped Congress from loading spending bills with pork.  This year's "Pig Book" from the nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste details some of these congressional earmarks:  $7.5 million spent on grape and wine research; $460,000 for research on hops; and $72,000 for the National Wild Turkey Federation in Edgefield, S.C., to name just a few.

CAGW Names Rep. John Murtha Porker of the Year.  Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today announced the final results of its online poll for the 2007 Porker of the Year. … Rep. Jack Murtha has long been known inside the Beltway for using threats, power plays, and backroom deals to control spending decisions.  There is an area of the House floor known as "Murtha's Corner," where the legendary appropriator dispenses earmarks.  The overwhelming vote for Porker of the Year vote shows that his shameful behavior is attracting attention throughout the country.

Pork:  The bridge to re-election.  Citizens Against Government Waste … released its "2006 Pig Book" last week.  This book lists the amounts of pork that congressmen lavish on their districts in an effort to, essentially, buy votes so they can get re-elected and keep the cycle of waste going.  According to the "Pig Book," the government increased pork barrel spending by 6 percent over last year's wastefulness in a total of 9,963 pork projects.  Over $29 billion ($29,000,000,000) worth of worthlessness appeared in the 11 congressional appropriation bills in 2005.

CAGW Issues Report on United Nations.  Citizens Against Government Waste released a report today [3/14/2006] that finds the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations health agency, wasted tens of millions of U.S. tax dollars on ill-founded medical policies and initiatives.  The U.S. funds almost a quarter of the WHO's annual budget, more than any other nation.  The report urges an immediate investigation by the U.S. Congress.

2005 Congressional Pig Book Summary.  The federal government's expanding waistline (a record $427 billion deficit) has resulted from too many members of Congress believing that the United States Treasury is their own personal ATM.  Our elected officials have let themselves go whole hog while letting down every hard-working American taxpayer.  The 2005 Congressional Pig Book is the latest installment of Citizens Against Government Waste's (CAGW) 15-year exposé of pork-barrel spending.  This year's list includes $3,270,000 for the Capitol Visitor Center; $100,000 for the Tiger Woods Foundation; and $75,000 for Onondaga County for the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.

Table:   Pork Per Capita by State.

Fannie Mae is Corporate Turkey of the Year.  Citizens Against Government Waste today [11/24/2004] named Fannie Mae its 2004 Corporate Turkey of the Year in recognition of how it has cooked the books in its growing accounting and corporate governance scandal.  Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored enterprise, mashed together by Congress and endowed with tens of billions of dollars worth of special privileges and exemptions.  Fannie Mae has been under scrutiny over the last several years because its securities enjoy the implied backing of the taxpayer, yet Fannie Mae (like its corporate cousin Freddie Mac) is exempt from many of the regulatory and accountability rules other major financial companies must comply with.

Congressional Pork Exposed:  War may be hell, but for Congress, war can also mean new opportunities to load the federal budget with pork.  The group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has come up with prime examples – $350,000 for sweet potato research in Stoneville, Miss., $631,000 for alternative salmon products in Alaska, $4,214,000 for shrimp aquaculture research spread across several states – that it says are part of a record amount of federal tax dollars being spent on congressional pork.

Pig Book 2003:  Total Pork Comparison for 2003 as analyzed by Citizens Against Government Waste.

CAGW Identifies a Record $22.5 Billion in Pork:  "Juicy morsels of pork went unnoticed and unquestioned."

Ten Guidelines for Reducing Wasteful Government Spending:  Lower tax rates will reduce barriers to working, saving, and investing, and therefore promote long-term economic growth.  Taxing Americans less also means that Washington must learn to spend less.

CCAGW Blasts Congress for Pay Raise:  "Members of Congress have the only job in the country whose occupants can set their own salary without regard to performance, profit, or economic climate," CCAGW President Tom Schatz said.  "After a year when Congress could not pass appropriations bills, left scores of judicial and executive branch appointments unconfirmed, and refused to act on overdue reforms for Social Security, Medicare, the tax code, Amtrak, and the US Postal Service, a pay raise is an insult to taxpayers."

Congress Goes Whole Hog:  Omnibus spending bill exits conference full of pork.

Some of the items discovered in the Omnibus spending bill are:
  • $1 million for the Iowa historical Society for exhibits related to the world food prize;
  • $750,000 for the Baseball Hall of Fame;
  • $732,000 for the Center for Designing Foods at Iowa State;
  • $725,000 for the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia;
  • $500,000 for the Boat House Museum in St. Charles, Missouri;
  • $500,000 for Tongass Coast Aquarium in Alaska;
  • $350,000 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame;
  • $210,000 for swine hoop barn research in Iowa;
  • $200,000 for the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center;
  • $150,000 for new office space for the "King of Pork," Sen. Robert Byrd;
  • $100,000 for the Sea Otter Commission in Alaska;
  • $90,000 for the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
Additionally, CAGW's List of Omnibus Earmarks includes
  • $560,000 for the Montana Sheep Institute in Bozeman
  • $350,000 for sweet potato research in Miss.
  • $50,000 to study mushrooms in Booneville, Ark
  • $900,000 for the renovation of the El Paso Plaza Theater
  • $300,000 Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, for Universal Kitchen Design project
  • $650,000 for Horseshoe Crab Research
Where do you think that money comes from?

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

National Security Versus Pork:  Should our tax dollars fund our troops fighting in Iraq, or the Smithsonian's national worm collection?  If it's business as usual up at the Capitol, then this is the type of question Congress will grapple with in the coming weeks.  And if history is our guide, the outcome is too close to call.

A New Year's spending resolution:  What is needed is a counteroffensive that will resonate with everyone who pays the bills for inefficiency, waste, fraud and abuse in and by government.  Democrats in the new Congress will predictably battle to preserve outmoded and unneeded government programs because the more people depend on government, the more power the Democrats have.

CAGW's "Porker of the Month" is FAA Administrator Marion Blakey:  There are few more costly, wasteful, and mismanaged projects than the Federal Aviation Administration's Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS).  To date, 149 STARS systems have been purchased, and only three deployed.

Byrd Droppings:  Quotes from Senator Robert Byrd and a long list of projects named for Senator Byrd.

Post Office Under Fire as Rates Rise Yet Again:  "In the long run, this rate hike will not serve anyone's interest, least of all the post office," said Leslie K. Paige, vice president of Citizens Against Government Waste.  "This substantial increase comes a little more than a year after the last increase and is, without doubt, only a prelude to the next, inevitable, rate case, which could come as early as October of this year.  These rate increases are coming faster and are ever more draconian.  We've had three hikes in four years, and none of them have stemmed the flow of red ink."

Postal Debt Soars to $13 Billion, Stamp Prices Continue to Climb:  New poll shows the public wants a postal audit before stamp prices rise again.  CAGW Unveils "Commemorative Stamps" Asking, "Where's Our Money Going?"

Mars?  Bring the Deficit Down to Earth First.  "Cost estimates for the new programs range from $550 billion to $1 trillion," said CAGW President Tom Schatz.  "Until the federal government brings the record deficit back down to Earth, it should not launch expensive new space programs of questionable scientific value."

The Porker of the Month Award award is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

"2002 Congressional Pig Book" Points to $20 Billion in Government Pork:  Since the Pig Book was first released in 1991, CAGW has documented $140 billion in pork barrel spending, which the group defines as projects that serve only a local or special interest, are requested by one chamber of Congress, or greatly exceed either the president's budget request or the previous year's funding.

Government Watchdog Group Slams Senator Daschle As "Porker of the Month":  "The farm lobby, labor unions, teachers' unions and the environmentalists have all recently gotten big Christmas presents from the Daschle Democrats, while pressing national business has gone unaddressed," CAGW said in a statement.

Here piggy, piggy, piggy...  Geoff Metcalf interviews government-waste expert Tom Schatz (from CAGW) on the latest pork.  (This is an astonishing discussion of pork projects at the federal level.  You'll be amazed.)

WasteWire:  A collection of the bizarre, yet costly ways in which Washington is spending your money.

Hybrid Car Project Wasting Taxpayers' Money, Group Claims:  The federal government has spent more than $800 million since 1993 to develop a "super car" capable of traveling 80 miles on one gallon of gasoline.  Although funding for the hybrid car program has been matched by the Big Three U.S. automakers, critics say it's time for the government to scrap the program and stop wasting taxpayer money.

Excerpt from a recent CAGW article:  Alaska again led the nation with $766 per capita ($480 million), or 30 times the national average of $25.  The runners up were Hawaii with $391 per capita ($474 million) and Mississippi with $236 per capita ($672 million).  The common thread among the top three per-capita states is that they are represented by powerful senators and appropriators - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Senate appropriator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.).

Editor's note: West Virginia, number four on the list, is the home of Robert Byrd, the senator who once called himself "West Virginia's billion-dollar industry."  Here is a long list of Projects Named For Senator Byrd.

Taxpayer Group Blasts U.S. Postal Service.

Deficits Again?  Not if we Cut Federal Bloat.  It is business as usual again in Washington as budget deficits return.  Who's going to win the battle over what to do fiscal conservatives or big spenders?

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Updated July 15, 2012.

©2013 by Andrew K. Dart