Economics

Porky Congress Members Pork Out on Pork Projects For Porcine Public or, Who Will Train The Next Generation of Weathercasters?

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The LA Times reports on the latest omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2010 (which started on October 1), which includes a mere 5,224 earmarks:

The measure brings total earmarks in this year's spending bills to 7,577 at a cost of about $6 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. The Pentagon spending bill, the last of the annual appropriations bills, is expected to contain more earmarks than the omnibus bill, said Steve Ellis of the taxpayer group.

Wha, wha, wha? Defense spending larded with pork? Say it so, Bob Gates! The Times notes that anti-earmarker Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)

singled out for criticism $200,000 provided for the Aquatic Adventures Science Education Foundation in San Diego. Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-San Diego) said that the money would go to a program that will "inspire children to pursue education in the sciences while encouraging students from disadvantaged backgrounds to go to college."

The bill also includes $600,000 for an Echo Park streetscape project; $180,000 for "training the next generation of weather forecasters" at San Jose State University; and $250,000 for textile research at UC Davis.

Other must-fund projects include "trails for Monterey Bay," "an arts pavillion for Mississippi," and "bus shelters for Bellflower," California. If taxes are the price we pay for civilization (and they're not), then perhaps earmarks are the price we pay for being really, really civilized.

Whole bit here.

As Reason.tv explained in "Earmarks: The Alien Menace," such projects may amount to a small portion of the federal budget, but they are the gateway drug (and not in a good way) to massive and unrestrained spending on all things unwise and unwonderful. Watch and learn, then vomit. Repeat as necessary.

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  1. less than 10 earmarks per member?

    Slackers.

  2. encouraging students from disadvantaged backgrounds to go to college.

    Wouldn’t it be better to encourage them to become productive members of society?

    1. Or at least to have productive coughs?

      1. Or, better yet, not RE-produce until after a “free” college degree and obtaining a high salaried government job, thus becoming a productive member of society!

  3. singled out for criticism $200,000 provided for the Aquatic Adventures Science Education Foundation

    No wonder. Every other kid I know wants to be a marine biologist.

    1. Or a forensic CSI or sports journalist.

  4. I went to UC Davis, I think they generate a lot of excellent research, and I would tell the state of California that they should consider the UC budget a higher priority than, say, bullet trains between regions 100s of miles away, but there ain’t no reason for them to be getting federal monies.

  5. From the video (paraphrase):

    ‘if you think earmarks are a bad idea, you might consider calling your representative and asking tough questions’

    But where would you post the answers?

  6. Every member of Congress that attaches earmarks should be required to purchase an old boat for every earmark, and subsequently be subject to fines for insufficient upkeep.

  7. Hey, I was born in Bellflower (in the same hospital as Octomom’s kids)….

    1. This explains why I’ve seen a bunch of dudes who look just like you. “The Boys from Bellflower”.

  8. Naw, Hank. Every member of Congress that attaches earmarks should be required to personally fund them, with one lucky pork-lover randomly selected to foot the cost for the rest of the bill.

    1. I have experience from constantly repairing my boat, so maybe I could get some business from this? Legislators should also have to wear NASCAR like suits with LOGOs and names of all their earmark recipients and political donors. They should have to paint them on their cars and boats too…

      As far as I’m concerned, protection from alien attack is one of the few legitimate responsibilities of government. I’d be happy to give SETI a few billion dollars if that means we could eliminate funding for public schools, agriculture subsidies, Iraq war, etc…

  9. Nick,

    Have you been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss lately?

    Porky Congress Members Pork Out on Pork Projects For Porcine Public or, Who Will Train The Next Generation of Weathercasters?

  10. Nick,

    Have you been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss lately?

    Porky Congress Members Pork Out on Pork Projects For Porcine Public or, Who Will Train The Next Generation of Weathercasters?

    1. Hit & Run

      Now with more server-squirrels!

  11. Fuck these pigs.

    Slice and dice the fucking squealers.

    1. I’m making pork ribs for lunch if it makes you feel any better.

  12. Watch and learn, then vomit. Repeat as necessary.

    Finally a site that takes eating disorder’s seriously!

  13. Other must-fund projects include “trails for Monterey Bay,”

    Yay! If there is something we need here, is more trails….

    Shit.

  14. I don’t know what this particular grant to the UC Davis Textiles and Clothing Department is funding, but in the recent past they have done research on how to reduce the 2.5 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste generated in the U.S. each year (or 10 pounds per person). They’ve also done research into alternatives to commercial cotton, the production of which consumes 25 percent of all pesticides used in this country. I suppose it’s not as pressing as cancer research but that doesn’t really seem like a waste of money to me…

  15. And of course even aside from the earmarks it just plain increases domestic spending heavily from 2009. Read about in on Chairman Obey’s site.

    Transportation and HUD? 12% increase in funding over 2009. And don’t think that defense spending was cut, either, as it got its increase.

    You can also look at Obey’s site for the 2009 bill, where the summaries brag how much more spending was contained than in Bush’s last budget request.

    As bad as the Bush spending increases were (they too were largely concentrated in the beginning of a recession and dressed up as recession fighting), these are worse. Something some believed not possible.

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