Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Porkers on the Highway Bill

SPUD NOTES: The $286.4 billion highway and mass transit bill passed by Congress last week has projects ranging from $200,000 for a deer avoidance system in Weedsport, N.Y., to $330 million for a highway in Bakersfield., Calif.

For full story:,0,6603638,print.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines

WASHINGTON -- (AP) When President Eisenhower proposed the first national highway bill, there were two projects singled out for funding. The latest version has, by one estimate, 6,371 of these special projects, a record that some say politicians should be ashamed of.

Meanwhile, according to a Cato Institute analysis, special projects or "earmarks" numbered 10 in 1982, 152 in 1987, 538 in 1991 and 1,850 in 1998. The 1998 highway act set aside some $9 billion for earmarks, well under half the newest plan.

"Nothing beats a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a new piece of pavement," said Peter Sepp, spokesman for National Taxpayers Union. "Road projects are regarded as a kind of government jobs program that Republicans can safely embrace."

Not every lawmaker came seeking gifts. Two conservative Republicans from Arizona, Jeff Flake and John Shadegg, wrote Young asking that the $14 million the committee was allotting to each House member for earmarks be sent instead to the state transportation department. Flake's office said that in the end he didn't take any projects, and Flake and Shadegg were two of only eight House members to vote against the bill.


Reps. Butch Otter and Mike Simpson and Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo voted for HR3 the Highway Porker Bill.

1 comment:

Rick Tschauder said...

Hey Laird,

I got to great idea to combat federal spending. We identify three pieces of useless pork in each congressional district, then get people in those states to deluge their congress-critters protesting the waste of money. I call it the Tres Carnitas project.

What do you think? I don't have the resources to do this on my own, but I'd sure be willing to put what time I could into something like this -

Your fellow hydrant,

Rick Tschauder