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Oink Oink! Congress Spends $17.2 Billion on Pet Projects

The secret is out of the corral. We now know which worthy causes are receiving pork barrel spending — that is money appropriated for special congressional pet projects. The Pig Book, put out by Citizens Against Government Waste, specifically identifies the 11, 610 projects that received $17.2 billion of taxpayer money this year.

We've all heard the famous "bridge to nowhere" and "studying the DNA of bears" used as prime examples of piggy tax-gobbling this campaign. Check out the whole book of new contenders. To sniff out some of the smelly highlights,


  • Maine Senators and Representative got $188,000 for the Lobster Institute.
  • $7.5 million was allocated for grape and wine research and $460,752 to research hops, the main ingredient in beer.
  • Rep. Virgil Goode (R) secured $98,000 to develop a walking a tour of Boydron, VA.
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lined up $1.7 million for multiple projects including: $1.1 for mormon crickets, $36, 741 for weed managements, and $196,000 for the historical downtown post office in Las Vegas.

Tax money should be used to fund museums, research initiatives, and other projects that would be otherwise neglected; however, it is troublesome that these projects are awarded in the shadows, instead of through a process of competitive allocation. Would you rather let federal agencies decide how the money is spent, or do you think the elected officials are better able to prioritize the needs of their constituents?


Join The Conversation
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
What is a Mormon cricket?
missmarina20 missmarina20 9 years
wow..just wow...
piper23 piper23 9 years
I thought I was against earmarks but if they are used for such things as grape and wine research, well, who can really argue with that?
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Excuse me, that walking tour of Boydron, VA DOES include a rolex, so let's put things into perspective here.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
in my town of gainesville we got money spent on : Mosquito trapping research $1,299,000 (I think they should just buy my car for 2 grand it seems to trap them just fine)
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Cookie recipes :ponder: I will have to ask Cabaker!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
You'd better quite a few good cookie recipe's up your sleeve cine_lover
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I don't think that just looking at a title gives you the full scope of what the money was intended for. There are some things that benefit society to be funded because they greatly effect local economies or tourist destinations, etc. For example, with the dollar being so low, California wine makers are having a chance at competing on a global scale that they never have before. Supporting this industry for a moment could bring increased income to California, and therefore the US. When American businesses thrive, it helps us all. I am not saying this is what they were for, but I think making blanket statements against all ear marks is just as bad as making blanket statements for ear marks. I can't open the link for some reason, but I will have to read more details later and see how in depth they go.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I could go for a good filibuster!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I think it's time to dust off Mr. Smith and send him back to Washington.
syako syako 9 years
I did see, hence the comment
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Um...Sy...Did you not see who posted this article?
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
And Obama earmarked a total $97.4 Million, which isn't all that bad considering Hillary earmarked $296.2 Million.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I was wondering where Aunt Thelma ran off to with all that money.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Shocking Sy!
syako syako 9 years
It's funny you didn't point out that McCain never does pork projects and that Obama is in there for 1.65 million on an aquarium that already had a fund balance of $200 million and Clinton spent 2.5 million on a variety of projects one of which would be M3's favorite - an FDR library! wha what!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
....the Lobster Institute...????
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