I think that most people generally understand that there’s a certain amount of waste in government spending but every once in a while something will come along that really drives home just how incredibly wasteful it really is.  This time it’s in the form of the “Pig Book” put out by Citizens Against Government Waste.

This book is all about the details of money that is spent by the government in earmarks that get tacked on to legitimate legislation without review, voting or any kind of public oversight.  A CBS News article included a definition of earmarks:

“An earmark is a grant of money outside the normal public review. ”

Which translates to: Joe and Jane Public don’t get a say in this, even though we’ve all got to pay for it.  Believe me, We’re paying for it alright.  This year it’s to the tune of $17.2 billion which works out to a National Average of $33.77 Per Person.  You’d think that’s bad enough but then you take a look at what they’re spending it on and an awful lot of it is un-necessary spending.  Things that if they had to go through review and approval processes they’d never be allowed to happen.  Spending money this way is as wasteful as it can get, kinda like using a mechanic’s air tools to open a can of beans when there’s a perfectly good can opener right there.

Some examples include $460,752 by for hops research requested by two representatives
and four senators.  Yeah, that’s what we need, more improvements in beer technology.  Yeah, right.

$390,000 by Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) for Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.

$98,000 by House appropriator Virgil Goode (R-Va.) to develop a walking tour of Boydton. The town has a population of 474, and covers .82 square miles.

The CBS article mentioned that among the presidential candidates, Clinton is the biggest pork provider with over $300 million and Obama comes in with something over $100 million.  I note with interest that McCain “simply doesn’t do earmarks”.

Technorati Tags: spending, government spending, earmarks, pork spending, clinton, mccain, pork barrel spending, obama

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