The Legislative Sausage Is Crammed With Wasteful Pork

Carol M. Highsmith, via Wikimedia Commons

To hear the media tell it, Congress finally passing spending bills and avoiding a government shutdown is a “win.” That’s how low the bar for accomplishment in Washington, D.C. has sunk. However, the value to the American public becomes questionable upon considering what the collection of legislative sausage contains.

For example, the spending laws contain $14.5 billion in earmarks – projects specifically requested by members of Congress. While this can mean upgrading waterways and other worthwhile infrastructure, there are also many wasteful and inappropriate handouts that have no business receiving tax dollars.

In particular, leftist members have shown that they have few compunctions about requesting and approving federal funds for activist groups that work on behalf of “progressive” causes.

While it’s fine for individuals to choose to donate to a cause based on their beliefs, it’s another thing entirely to use Uncle Sam to strong-arm taxpayers into supporting organizations they disagree with.

For example, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., secured $500,000 for the NAACP’s headquarters in Baltimore. While the NAACP was an important organization during the fight for universal civil rights in the 20th century, it has devolved into a highly partisan outfit promoting the ideological Left’s social agenda.

Similarly, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both D-N.Y., got a $1 million earmark for WE ACT for Environmental Justice in New York City. WE ACT isn’t focused on performing a charitable public service such as cleaning up parks or neighborhoods. Instead, it’s an activist group that lobbies for a radical leftist policy agenda including racial grievances, tax-and-spend economics, and a wide range of job-destroying regulations.

It’s easy to imagine the media firestorm that would ensue if conservative members sought earmarks for conservative groups such as the NRA or the National Right to Life Committee, but the press generally sees nothing wrong with handouts to the Left.

In fact, the most noteworthy instance of journalistic inquiry into this year’s earmarks didn’t come from a mainstream publication, but instead from John Shelton of the conservative group Advancing American Freedom.

Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman, both D-Pa., received initial approval for a $1 million earmark to the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia. Even though the organization has financial backing from Merck, NovaCare, Urban Outfitters, and Macy’s, the legislators believed that it was worth adding to the $34.6 trillion gross national debt for.

Posting on X (formerly Twitter), Mr. Shelton pointed out that the William Way group hosted a monthly fetish party and had drag shows with performers as young as 11 years old.

The facts were publicly available online, showing a lack of due diligence on the part of the senators and the Senate Appropriations Committee. These revelations caused a flurry of activity behind closed doors in Congress as Democrats quickly moved to quash the earmark before it could gain more widespread attention. Although Sen. Fetterman claimed that he did not agree to the earmark’s removal, the removal happened anyway.

The removal marked one of the few straightforward policy wins for conservatives in the spending package, although stopping a politically radioactive earmark would ideally not have required a last-minute intervention.

In fact, the William Way fiasco highlights one of the central problems with the federal government: it spends too much money on too many things for either Congress or the public to properly keep track of. There’s no telling how many of the thousands of annual earmark requests would fall apart under modest scrutiny. Unfortunately, most of the media is either disinterested in overseeing federal spending or are barely concealed cheerleaders for big government.

With the government too big to manage and inflationary  deficit spending spending growing out of control, Congress must finally start cutting back on the endless array of federal programs and bureaucracies. Otherwise, there’s no telling how many more radical groups will receive ill-gotten gains.

David Ditch on March 23, 2024

  1. All u pathetic,incompetent,politicians, are bankrupting our kids, and grandkids for the rest of their lives,why not think about someone, other than your damselves. This country will never come back from this ridiculous,printing and spending wastefulpork projects to help themselves, Prepare for the end of america,because it is already here,your just too stupid to know it.

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  3. We speak of the supremacy of the sovereign States over the Federal government but due to slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, and separate but equal laws, the States lost much of the moral high ground. They MUST reclaim it to bring the federal behemoth under control. It must however be emphasized that no State law must ever supersede any of the Bill of Rights, what’s left of it. The same applies to the rest of the Constitution with some exceptions mentioned below.

    Along that vein, it’s time for the sovereign States to restore the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. Perhaps the States should consider a Constitutional Convention, secession being extreme, unnecessary, and premature, to once again bind the federal government by the chains of the Constitution as Jefferson stated. If they need to justify such action by dusting off the Declaration of Independence, so be it.

    The States should repeal the 17th Amendment (Election of Senators), thus giving back to the States representation in the Senate. Then they need to pass as amendments the proposed Write the Bills, Read the Bills, One Subject at a Time, Enumerated Powers, the Liberty Amendment, Balanced Budget Acts, and Term Limits Act.

    Perhaps they should also provide for a way of removing representatives and senators be it by state recalls or nationwide impeachment, for publicly certifying federal candidates’ eligibility for respective offices, and for certifying a person’s eligibility as a citizen to qualify for benefits, employment, or for voting. The Federal government must not be allowed to force fraudulent candidates or voting on the States.

    In addition, the States need to modify the Supremacy Clause (such as through the Liberty Amendment) such that no treaty could supersede any part of the Constitution or States Rights.

  4. It makes one leap for joy that the truth is that hell is a real place and there is plenty of room in hell for all of these vile commie politicians, lying corporate media talking heads, filthy disgusting sodomites and especially the Delaware potato president.


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