Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pork Projects Bunning Could Toss

Yesterday Senator Bunning was taking some heat for rejecting the so-called "jobs bill" that would cost $10 billion. Bunning said “If we can’t find $10 billion to pay for something we all support, we will never pay for anything on the floor of this U.S. Senate.” The administration reacted with Press Secretary Gibbs called Bunning "irrational". Is being fiscally responsible considered irrational? Bunning has a point. It seems Gibbs is really the irrational one.

Where will we get the money to pay for it? Well, I have some suggestions. Here is a sample of some of the 2009 pork projects where the government has spent your hard earned taxpayers dollars and borrowed increasing the deficit, all in the name of pork.

$155,289,000 Plutonium capability
$116,000,000 Democracy Fund
$62,018,000 Facilities and infrastructure
$60,267,000 NNS Los Alamos National Laboratory
$48,000,000 Trans-Hudson Midtown Corridor
$47,601,111 Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center, Inc. Newburgh, for facilities and equipment
$45,000,000 Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery
$43,637,000 Idaho National Laboratory
$39,260,000 Intl. Prog. for the Elimin. of Child labor for the U.S. contrib. to a multinational effort to combat child labor, per Executive Order 12216 & William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Prot. Reauth. Act of 2008
$37,000,000 Water power R&D
$35,000,000 National Endowment for Democracy
$33,315,000 Alaska Native Educational Equity for activities authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
$33,315,000 Education for Native Hawaiians for activities authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
$30,000,000 UN Population Fund
$30,000,000 University of Alabama for an interdisciplinary science and engineering teaching and research corridor Tuscaloosa
$29,100,000 Dulles Corridor Metrorail
$29,020,000 Argonne National Lab
$27,880,000 Industrial technologies
$27,000,000 Southeast Region Research Initiative
$27,000,000 Lewis and Clark rural water system
$26,000,000 Delta Health Alliance, Inc. to improve the delivery of public health services in the Mississippi Delta region under Title III of the Public Health Service Act
$25,095,000 Center for Civic Education for two programs-We the People and Cooperative Education Exchange-that are authorized in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as part of the Civic Education program
$25,000,000 Tuscaloosa Federal Building, Alabama
$24,803,000 Reading is Fundamental authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
$24,291,000 National Writing Project for activities authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
$24,000,000 METRA
$22,000,000 JFK Presidential Library
$20,718,000 Savannah River site
$20,500,000 Charlotte Rapid Transit Extension
$20,137,000 Water isolation power plant
$20,000,000 Natural gas technologies
$20,000,000 Public Telecommunications Facilities, Planning and Constructio
$20,000,000 Mid Jordan Light Rail Extension
$20,000,000 Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project
$20,000,000 Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project
$20,000,000 Metrorail Orange Line Extension Project
$19,642,000 Denali Commission to support health projects and economic development activities for the arctic region under the Denali Commission Act of 1998
$19,300,000 LANSCE reinvestment PED Los Alamos National Lab
$18,000,000 Rural Utah
$18,000,000 Mississippi environmental infrastructure
$18,000,000 Middle Rio Grande restoration
$18,000,000 Rural Nevada
$17,500,000 FDR Presidential Library and Museum Renovation
$17,245,000 Yazoo Basin-Delta Headwaters project
$17,048,000 Lake Sakakawea project
$17,000,000 Sault Ste. Marie replacement lock

I don't know about you, but just reading it made my eyes gloss over. Unfortunately, there is way more than this. There were actually 10,160 pork barrel projects in 2009totaling $19.6 billion. Of this, there were 221 anonymous projects totalling $7.8 billion for which the requester could not be identified. You can peruse them yourself at http://www.cagw.org/ which is the Citizens Against Government Waste website. Be sure to check out the 2009 Pig Book.

This is just a sample. This is just what is designated as earmarks. This doesn't include all the other unconstitutional wasteful spending in the budget. It is sickening.

So who are really irrational ones here? I would say it is the House and Senate for spending this money and the administration for signing the bills. Who will be the irrational ones? It will be the American people if we continue to re-elect these porkers.


  1. Check out the new video highlighting the Idaho National Laboratory's energy and security research.


  2. This isn't saying this may not be a worthwhile project, but it should be private enterprise that leas the way, not taxpayer dollars. Where in the constitution does it say that the government can use my money for research?

    Earmarks circumvent the legislative process.

    From CAGW:
    A "pork" project is a line-item in an appropriations or authorization bill that designates funds for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures. To qualify as pork, a project must meet one of seven criteria that were developed in 1991 by CAGW and the Congresional Porkbusters Coalition. They are:
    -- Requested by only one chamber of Congress;
    -- Not specifically authorized;
    -- Not competitively awarded;
    -- Not requested by the President;
    -- Greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding;
    -- Not the subject of congressional hearings; or
    -- Serves only a local or special interest.