|Congress Serves Up $17.2 Billion in Pork |
From Shrimp to Beer, 'Pig Book' Lays Out Congressional Pork-Barrel Spending Projects.
Tax time is approaching and millions of Americans are facing tough economic times, but that hasn't stopped Congress from loading spending bills with pork.
This year's "Pig Book" from the nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste details some of these congressional earmarks : $7.5 million spent on grape and wine research; $460,000 for research on hops; and $72,000 for the National Wild Turkey Federation in Edgefield, S.C., to name just a few.
"When the Democrats took over, they said they were going to cut the number and cost of earmarks in half," said Tom Schatz, president of the watchdog group. "That simply hasn't been done."
Schatz calls the desire for pork a bipartisan problem. "Members of Congress argue about a lot of different issues, but they don't disagree all that much about pork-barrel spending and earmarks."
Congressional members stuffed 11,610 spending projects -- the second highest total ever -- to benefit their home districts into the 2008 fiscal year budget.