2004 Pig Book

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Citizens Againt Government Waste has released its 2004 Pig Book, a compendium of taxpayer-financed pork projects. Read all about it here.

The much-coveted "Whole Hog Award," given to the pol who directs the most pork back to his jurisdiction, goes Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) for sending $524 million in useless crap to the rugged individualists who keep returning him to office.

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  1. It is interesting how the small conservative states tend to be some of the biggest beneficiaries of pork (on a per capita basis)… Which is not to say that some left-leaning states aren’t getting their pork as well, but the bias remains.

    Mind you, it would be just as bad from a taxpayer’s standpoint if the left-leaning states were the big feeders at the trough. But from the standpoint of irony, well, need I say more?

  2. Every year these pork guides get published.
    Every year we are outraged, not at the pork WE eat, but at the pork OTHERS eat. Such is our hypocrisy.

  3. Doesn’t Ted Stevens win just about every year?

    Bob Byrd probably beat him once or twice.

  4. Bob Byrd is a waskally wabbit!

  5. I’m not sure it’s wise to describe every amendment as pork. In the Defense link in particular, there were several projects that, even when being described by people who opposed them, appeared to have some merit.

    The flip side is that the destroyer being built in Trent Lott’s district doesn’t make the list, because it was in the original appropriations bill, despite the fact that the Pentagon has said they don’t want it. Lazy methodology.

  6. A destroyer would make a nice floating casino.
    It would give “gunboat diplomacy” a whole new meaning for those hard-to-convince anti-gambling states along the coast.

  7. I should add that if there is any state that should receive a disproportionate amount of federal spending it would be Alaska, at least on the defense side. Alaska has some fairly obvious military significance, just like most coastal states. Kansas and Wisconsin and Vermont, on the other hand, have fairly little military significance.

  8. True thoreau.
    Didn’t Byrd get the Coast Guard to move their HQs to West Virginia?

  9. I went to the Coast Guard’s web site and it appears that their commandant is in DC. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s gotten some significant coast guard facility placed in West Virginia.

  10. thoreau,

    Vermont borders a country that opposed the Iraq war. Don’t you know that makes them our enemy now?

  11. Send in the Salvation Army.

  12. joe,

    Vermont or Canada? Either way, don’t mention it to the neo-cons, we don’t want anymore wars.

  13. And you know who’s from Vermont?

    That’s right.

  14. Add it all up and it’s still under a billion. Real pork comes in the form of big government, i.e. entitlement programs, USDA programs, the ATF, DEA, FDA, etc. etc. etc.

  15. Warren-

    You have a point. But if we could just get rid of the gravy on top of the big items it would go a long way toward balancing the budget. And although the government would still be too large even if we balanced the budget solely by spending cuts, at least it would be smaller, and one of the worst harms of the big government would be eliminated: The next generation would not be saddled with debt from this generation’s mistakes.

    Anyway, it’s always interesting to see that some of the worst offenders are frequently Senators from small and supposedly conservative states. It wouldn’t be any better for the taxpayers if the pork flowed in a different direction, but from the perspective of irony and hypocrisy, well, need I say more?

  16. Stevens may be a home state porker, but there a a lot worse records in the senate for Total Spending. Although, Stevens 71%(B-) record does not look so good when compared with the eight in the senate who earn an (A), the “Taxpayer Friend Award” from the NTU. All Republicans:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=41

    The twenty-one in the House who earned the “Taxpayer Friend Award”, an (A). Again, all Republicans, I believe:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=40

    To see the record for the whole congress for Total Spending and to see how well your Rep. and senators do, check out:

    http://www.ntu.org/misc_items/rating/VS_2003.pdf

  17. Well thoroeau, that would depend on what you think does the worst harm, the pork barrel shit or the entitlement shit.

  18. If John Kerry added an amendment that spent $80 million on Humvee armor, this report would count it as pork.

  19. Maybe if we made those clowns in the Senate retire at, say, 75, there might be a little more turnover so you wouldn’t have so many of these ancient porkmeisters. I saw a clip the other day on cable related to this story showing some of the leading Senators mentioned and I almost thought I was looking at scenes from a retirement home for millionaires, I swear.

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