It’s called “pork”: The spending of our tax dollars for the special benefit of those folks well connected to our congressmen. And who is better connected to our congressmen than the congressmen themselves? In the end, the pork is really for their benefit, to help them get reelected by buying off powerful lobbies and taking credit for spending other people’s money. That’s why porkbarrel spending is so tough to stop. And sadly, the Bush Administration has already given up the fight.
Sure, when he announced his budget in April, the President vowed to cut pork in half as part of a “new way of doing business.” But Budget Director Mitch Daniels points out that even under Republican control of Congress, porkbarrel spending has “gotten out of hand.” Congressional requests for special earmarks to spend money on their pet home-district projects have more than tripled under a GOP-run House. Mitchell admits that recent efforts to curb such pork have met with little success. The biggest problem is his own party’s leadership in the Congress.
House Appropriation Committee director James Dyer, smugly says he’ll make a deal with the administration, namely, “if they do not direct money to politically popular programs then I will not direct money to politically popular programs.” A deal that stops politicians from using the U.S. Treasury as their reelection slush fund! Dyer knows none of the career politicians want that deal. And now Daniels says that while it may not be good government, pork is, in his words, “an acceptable cost of doing business.” Dear tax-paying listener: Is it acceptable to you?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.