Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pork Barrel Spending

In 2009, Senator Lindsey Graham complained that South Carolina only got back $1.35 per dollar more than it’s citizens and corporations send to our federal government in taxes.  Back then, the states getting the most federal money per dollar taxed was New Mexico, which was getting $2.03 for each dollar they pay in federal taxes.  Other leading states, who were getting the most back were all traditionally Republican states: Mississippi, Alaska, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Virginia. 

The list of the 10 states getting the least money back were New Jersey, Nevada, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Illinois, Delaware, California, New York, and Colorado.  New Jersey received only 61 cents back for every dollar their citizens and corporations paid in federal taxes.

Southern politicians complain about federal spending, but they’re the ones, who are getting the most government spending per dollar. 

Republicans have to be careful, because not only are 40 percent of the earmarks in the current budget for Republican, but if you look at history, pork barrel spending exploded, when Republicans took over the House and the Senate in the ‘90s.  Their argument is sort of hypocritical given that there was more money for earmarks in 2005, when Republicans controlled the House, than there is in the 2009 budget.

Some will define pork barrel spending as any federal spending that goes to any congressional district other than their our own.  When it comes to ones own district, it’s considered sound fiscal federal spending, and there’s a certain amount of pressure from constituents to bring home the bacon.

All politics are local and the basic approach of many of our representatives in Congress is to get money for their own district, while complaining spending in any other state or congressional district is pork.


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