Pork: Billions Wasted Each Year To Reelect Incumbents

by Mick McNesby - Date: 2006-12-17 - Word Count: 718 Share This!

"Whenever You Rob Peter To Pay Paul, You Can Always Count On The Support Of Paul"
-George Bernard Shaw

How are your Congressmen at Bringing Home The Bacon?

Do you and your fellow constituents praise your two U. S. Senators and/or your U.S. House of Representatives member for pork projects and the jobs they provide in your district.

Pork projects number in the thousands during every session of Congress. Your federal tax payments, pay for projects in someone else's district. Even if your district is one of the larger recipients of pork projects, expenditures per household have increased $6500, since 2001.

This is the cruel deception of pork.

Although Democrats are the party of big spending, Republicans, under George Bush, have been responsible for the highest inflation-adjusted annual spending since World War II, virtually begging for their recent thumping in Congress.

Most pork projects should not be passed by the federal government.

We are not talking about federal projects that are a great help to the country such as the expansion of our federal highway system which took place under President Eisenhower.

Such legitimate projects are a great use of our federal dollars, even considering a high price tag. They enhance the lives of millions every day, and probably pay their cost many times over.

However, most projects do not benefit the American people. They first benefit powerful committee chairmen, who allow generous pork to go to each junior member, in turn for the junior member to support the chairmen's larger delicious share.

These handouts have cost nearly $30 billion dollars for each of the last two years, and because of piggybacking, the $60 billion total, goes much higher. Federal government expenditures now average $23,760 per household.

There were 13,997 pork projects in the 2005 budget and 10,000 more in 2006,

Most of these projects are unnecessary, many are useless, some downright harmful. Many others could and should be paid for by the state where they are going.

Quite a few are so outrageous, they become a source of scorn and disbelief, yet Congress does not fear voters enough to stop them and so thousands more lie ahead.

For a time, Hurricane Katrina and other disasters had Congress replacing some Pork in order to meet the large and unexpected expense of those disasters. Then came the news that higher than expected revenues were pouring into the Treasury, the deficit was coming down, so back to normal. Pork was king once again.

As Congressmen vote away more and more of your daily labor, they see the money going back to the special interests in their home district.

The Congressmen-House and Senate members-have slick campaigns to make sure those special interest handouts, receive much attention, so voters will know how much they are "getting" from government-especially the congressman who "got it for us."

The staff members for House and Senate members work feverishly to get their House or Senate employer reelected. The staff members are rewarded handsomely. The taxpayers once again get gouged.

House and Senate Staff Salaries-Individuals

In 2004, Congress rewarded their top staff members with a salary of $156,848.

This was within one thousand two hundred dollars of what the Senator or House member himself was then paid. More astonishingly it was within $25,000 dollars of what the Vice President of the United States was paid.

This at a time when the deficit was projected at $427 billion.

House and Senate Staff Salaries-Full Staff

In the smallest states, a congressman can spend $701,136 to pay staff. In the largest states, he can spend $1,636,750.

In the Senate, staff allowance for the smallest states begins at a mere $2,264,345 and goes to a high of $3,751, 995.

Some Senators have nearly 100 members on their staff.

The results of the 2006 elections suggest that voters seem much more tuned in to the destructiveness of the practice that says "Bring Home The Bacon".

Republicans are reeling, while Democrats are making statements saying "they get it". We must inform them in no uncertain terms, if a project or program is not clearly cost effective and beneficial, to the nation as a whole, we want it voted down.

To learn more about pork barrel spending visit http://www.cagw.org

There you will see suggested cuts by CAGW-Citizens Against Government Waste-that would save an astonishing $232 billion (that's billion with a B), in one year and more than $2 trillion (that's trillion with a T) over 5 years. See Reports, Prime Cuts, paragraph 3

Related Tags: pork, projects, congressmen

Michael McNesby is a former tax advisor, consultant and negotiator. He was a frequent guest on political talk shows in Atlantic City, N.J., discussing the benefits of the lower cost of government. He can be visited at conservative-politics-infofind.com

Ireland per capita income www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3180.htm

Debt Charts www.gao.gov/cghome/d061138cg.pdf

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