Friday, April 07, 2006

Get in line for some swine

The Citizens Against Government Waste have recently released their annual and utterly enjoyable Congressional Pig Book, a survey of pork barrel spending by the U.S. government. Taxpayers footed a $29 billion bacon bill in fiscal 2006; some comments:

- In nominal terms, only California and New York get more pork than Hawaii. What's in Hawaii that's costing $482 million in 2006?! And they got even more in 2005!

- Alaska is a force when it comes to pork. There's just no two ways to look at it. They can go toe to toe with anyone even in nominal terms, and when you figure their population is less than 700,000, their per capita figure is through the roof. No one's even been close since 2000. Hurricane Katrina's budget impact finally brought them back to the pack, but it's got to be something in the clean Alaskan water that breeds rent seeking.

- I've finally found a list in which West Virginia isn't last. West Virginia is gettin' in while the gettin's good-- to the tune of $131.58 per person. Just think-- if that money went right to the populus, the per capita income would go up by about half a percent. Draw your own conclusion on any of a number of margins there.

- They have a section on the oinker awards, which are particularly hilarious pork allocations, but I've yet to find a state that you can't pull up a list of pork comedy. Some choice West Virginia ham: $160k for poultry litter composting, $100k for the Mason County Tourism Mural Project, $50k for sidewalk enhancement, $750k for Multiflora rose control (fear the Floribunda), and $160k for feed efficiency.


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