Pork Barrel Part II

Recently, my good friend Surfside wrote a piece about pork barrel trivia. Since that piece I have been thinking a bit about pork barrel projects. The definition of a pork barrel project is (Citizens Against Government Waste):

Pork is the funding of a project that trips one of CAGW’s seven criteria: requested by only one chamber of Congress; not specifically authorized; not awarded competitively; 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. In short, pork-barreling is the appropriation of money in circumvention of established budgetary procedures.

The liberals are always telling us that we need to spend less on the military and more on social projects. Adam for example, thinks we should be providing health insurance for everyone and that the government should provide jobs and high wages for unskilled labor. Adam will tell you that there is a new crisis caused by the republicans. That crisis is that some people in our country do not have health insurance, 44 million to be exact. I would argue that if you subtract those who have access and reject it (such as young workers who do not participate in employer plans because they do not want to spend the money) and the number of illegal aliens that we should not have to pay for, then the number is much lower. The 44 million represents 15.6% of the population. Amazing as it might seem, the percentage has been about that for the past 13 years. Yes, as hard as it is for them to see, about 15% of the population has not been insured since 1992 (Where were the cries when Clinton had these numbers). In raw data there are more people but the population has gone up so any person with basic math skills, like a computer science major or registered nurse, should be able to figure that out.

How does that get me to pork barrel projects? Well, I was thinking about all the money spent on these projects and figured that the government would be able to pay for a lot of things if we did not spend money on libraries in Hawaii and male sex habit studies. Actually, if all the pork barrel money was placed in Social Security we might not have a problem. If you look at the Citizens Against Govenment Waste site you will see they have found 100 billion dollars in pork barrel abuse since 1991! 100 BILLION DOLLARS (he says in his best Dr. Evil voice). That will buy a lot of just about anything. It would certainly help with Social Security, though I think private accounts are a good idea. It would provide a lot of equipment to our troops. It would certainly help with homeland security. But while the politicians (from both sides of the aisle) argue that we have a budget problem those same politicians are wasting billions of dollars of OUR money. This is another concept the left has trouble with. They can not understand that the money belongs to the people who earn it and the government takes it from us through coercion. The people should have a say in how it is spent. So I ask, did any of you approve the $491 million (and counting) the Congress is spending for a 580,000 square foot Capitol Visitor Center? I suppose the 6 buildings they already have with 6 million square feet of space (not including the Capitol) was just not enough (paraphrased from Ron Smith, WBAL).

Uncle Ted Kennedy is a famous pork project man (among other things). Good thing they are not Scotch Barrel projects or he would spend all the money! Uncle Ted cried about the underestimation of the Medicare Prescription Plan by George Bush. He wanted to know what the president knew and when. Of course he earlier stated that the plan ONLY provided $400 Billion! The Democrat’s Plan would have cost $800 Billion to $1 TRILLION and Sen. Kennedy introduced legislation to eliminate the cost-saving measures in the new law!!! So how is it we are supposed to save money when Teddy the boozer is out taking away the cost saving portions of the law?

It is time Americans stood up for their rights. We need a unified voice to tell the people in Washington that we want accountability for the way our money is spent. As voters we should remember those who were frivilous with our money by removing them on election day.

From the CAGW: This month’s Porker of the month Sen. Daniel Inouye

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5 Responses to “Pork Barrel Part II”

  1. Adam says:

    I was just barely around back then, but I do know Clinton attempted to give healthcare to all. I guess marital infidelity and lies were more important than millions of Americans.

  2. Big Dog says:

    It would seem so since he decided to engage in infidelity and lies rather than pursue health care.
    BTW, his wife tried it without success. If you think there is a money flow problem now let the government get in the health care business for all Americans. Medicare is a boondoggle. The government does not run anything efficiently. Of course, we can just raise everyone’s taxes to pay for this. I think we should put that to a vote of the people first (only people who pay taxes can vote).

  3. Dave says:

    Three words for you – LINE ITEM VETO!

    It will never happen, though. Both sides recognize the fact that if the opposition is in power, their pork (or even legitimate programs and legislation) would face a really tough challenge in getting through.

    All the more reason we need it. If the voters had a real chance to see who is passing what bills and/or pork, and not have these things hidden as they are tacked on to a necessary spending bill as a pay off for a vote, it is possible that we would have a better informed electorate.

    Of course this would necessitate a president with the intestinal fortitude to use it in the face of possible negative implications for their or their party’s political future. As usual, never mind what is right and necessary, do what gives you (or your party) the best chance of being reelected.

    Just a thought. Feeling quite cynical today.


  4. Adam says:

    Well Big Dog, just tell me where to go and vote and I’ll vote yes to raise taxes for medical care.

  5. Big Dog says:

    I’ll bet when you vote to raise taxes it does not affect you. Read my latest post and you will find all the money you want for health care.
    I can not imagine any person who would think this is something that should be provided to everyone free of charge. Of course the libs would just give it to the needy. The well off would have to pay for their health care and for the poor’s. I’ll agree if I get to write off those people as dependents.
    What next? The government should buy you a car because you need it to work. They should buy you a TV because you need to be informed. They need to buy you a computer and provide high speed internet because you need a computer to do almost anything. Thjey should buy you food because that is as necessary as health care and can lead to good health. WHERE DOES IT STOP????
    I already know you think education should be free. How will we pay for the teachers? And if our tax money does it can we then fire the ones we do not want there and replace them with others? If I pay the wages then I am the employer so I should be able to fire them. Come to think of it, if I pay the tuition then you should have to study what I say and if you fail a grade I can kick you out. It is good to be king.