The Republican Pork Explosion

Capitol Hill Briefing
September 23, 2005 12:00PM
B-369 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy, Cato Institute, and Author, Downsizing the Federal Government; Tom Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste; Steve Ellis, Vice President, Taxpayers for Common Sense

“Pork” spending by Congress has soared in recent years. This year’s highway bill was bloated with 6,371 earmarks inserted by members of Congress for their states and districts. Appropriation bills for 2006 probably will be packed with billions of dollars of pork. Pork is a bipartisan problem, but it has expanded roughly ten-fold under a Republican Congress since 1995.

Join three budget experts to discuss the problems with pork spending. Pork is often of dubious value or slated for activities that are the responsibility of local governments or the private sector. Good examples include the $150,000 given to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and $50 million given to an indoor rainforest project in Iowa. Edwards, Schatz, and Ellis will examine causes of the pork explosion, how pork has undermined spending restraint in general, and what steps can be taken to cut the federal budget.