"“When Congress adopted earmark reforms last year, there was hope that the number and cost of earmarks would be cut in half. By any measure, that has not occurred,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz.
In fiscal year 2008, Congress stuffed 11,610 projects (the second highest total ever) worth $17.2 billion into the 12 appropriations bills. That is a 337 percent increase over the 2,658 projects in fiscal year 2007, and a 30 percent increase over the $13.2 billion total in fiscal year 2007. Alaska led the nation with $556 in pork per capita ($380 million total), followed by Hawaii with $221 ($283 million) and North Dakota with $208 ($133 million). CAGW has identified $271 billion in total pork since 1991.
For the first time, the names of members of Congress were added to the projects. The top three porkers were members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, beginning with Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) with $892 million; Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) with $469 million; and Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) with $465 million.
The Pig Book Summary profiles the most egregious examples, breaks down pork per capita by state, and presents the annual Oinker Awards. All 11,610 projects are listed in a searchable database on CAGW’s website http://www.cagw.org/. Examples of pork in the 2008 Pig Book include:
$3 million for The First Tee; $1,950,000 for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service; $460,752 for hops research; $211,509 for olive fruit fly research in Paris, France; $196,000 for the renovation and transformation of the historic Post Office in Las Vegas; $188,000 for the Lobster Institute in Maine; and $148,950 for the Montana Sheep Institute.
“Americans do not send their hard-earned tax dollars to Washington so that Sen. Daniel Inouye can bring home $173 million in defense pork and receive the Pacific Fleeced Award or get sapped by $4.8 million going to wood utilization research, on which the government has spent $91 million since 1985,” concluded Schatz."
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