Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Budget Earmark Totals

In the Wall Street Journal today:
Even worse is the President's abdication on earmarks, or Member-requested pork. Mr. Bush had publicly insisted that Congress should cut the number of earmarks by 50% this year, from 13,492 in fiscal 2007. Ah, not quite. The "omnibus" includes 8,983 earmarks, and counting, which brings the total so far to 11,144 including those passed as part of the Defense bill. As a percentage decline that is only 17%.

The pork barrel includes $700 million for a Minnesota bike trail, $113,000 for rodent control in Alaska, and $1 million for an energy project in the district of Lousiana Democrat William Jefferson, who faces trial for bribery next year. Dozens of these earmarks were "air-dropped" into the bill at the last minute, meaning that fiscal conservative Members lacked the time to find and fight them on the House or Senate floor.
Well, 17%, eh? I guess that's something.

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