This past weekend, on C-SPAN, I caught the announcement of the "Oinkers" of 2009, the annual awards presented by Citizens Against Government Waste. CAGW is “a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in government.”
The awards (LINK) recognize “dogged perseverance
in the mad pursuit of pork” and have tracked Congress’ big spenders since 1996. Here are this year’s winners:
THE LOG ROLLING AWARD: For $4.5 million in wood utilization research in 10 states by 19 senators and 10 representatives.
THE PORKY LE PEW AWARD: To Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) for $1.8 million in swine odor and manure management research in Ames, Iowa.
THE NARCISSIST AWARD: To Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) for $2 million for the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program.
THE TAXPAYERS GET TATOOED AWARD: To Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) for $200,000 for a tattoo removal program.
PORK: THE FINAL FRONTIER AWARD: To Reps. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), and then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) for $900,000 for the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago.
THE WHEN ALTERNATE PIGS FLY AWARD: For $465 million for the Joint Strick Fighter alternative engine.
THE DIM BULB AWARD: To Michigan Sens. Carl Levin (D) and Debbie Stabenow (D), and Rep. Carolyn Kirkpatrick (D) for $951,500 for downtown Detroit energy efficient street lamps.
THE MIGHTY WINDBAG AWARD: To Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) for $47,575 for the Harlem United wind power project.
THE PORK-A-SAURUS AWARD: To Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for $143,000 for the Las Vegas Museum of Natural History.
THE TAXPAYERS GET SHELLED AWARD: To Alabama Sens. Richard Shelby (R) and Jeff Sessions (R), then-Rep. Terry Everett (R) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R) for $413,000 for tri-state joint peanut research.
THE HIGHWAY ROBBERY AWARD: To Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) for $9.5 million for Corridor H.
THE TOUR DE PORK AWARD: For $9.4 million for 14 projects for bike paths and trails.
THE WATER TAXI TO NOWHERE AWARD: To then-Rep. Chris Shays for $1.9 million for the Pleasure Beach water taxi service project.
CAGW has released its 2009 Congrssional Pig Book, “the latest installment of the group’s 19-year exposé of pork spending” … revealing “10,160 earmarks worth $19.6 billion.”
FROM CAGW’S PRESS RELEASE (LINK):
“ ‘Everyone in Washington has promised a new era of transparency and restraint in earmarks, from President Obama to the leaders of both parties in Congress,’ said CAGW President Tom Schatz. ‘Sadly, the hard numbers from the 2009 appropriations bills tell a different story. The current Democratic congressional majority is following the same trajectory as their Republican predecessors. They came into power promising to cut earmarks and made a big show of it during their first two years. However, as the 2009 Pig Book amply illustrates, pork-barrel spending is growing fast.'
“While the number of specific projects declined by 12.5 percent, from 11,610 in fiscal year 2008 to 10,160 in fiscal year 2009, the total tax dollars spent to fund them increased by 14 percent, from $17.2 billion to $19.6 billion.”
DOG-EAR THE EARMARKS
I hope participants in tea-party protests will get your copy of the Pig Book HERE and will dog-ear the earmarks of those bringing home the bacon to your home state.
And, to my friends and family in Mississippi, I’ve saved this one for you:
THE SUPER THAD AWARD: To Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for $653 million in total pork.