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August 08, 2005

One State's Pork . . .

The transportation bill was reported out of the House and Senate at the end of July.  From the New York Times, we hear that about 8 percent of the $286.4 billion bill consisted of what are called earmarks, special funds for specific projects inserted by lawmakers, inserted sometimes just to get enough votes for passage of the bill. Washington did pretty well as did every other state in the Union. 

Of the total of 6000 earmarked projects, Washington has a total of 111 projects to be funded for a total of $523 million and Oregon did even better with 97 projects totaling $566 million. 

USA Today reports that legislation passed by Congress this year will add $35 billion to next year’s budget deficit, sending the federal deficit soaring.  Added tax revenues from a rebounding economy had halted earlier upward deficits but that is being reversed.  In addition to the transportation bill, Congress passed an energy bill and a veterans’ health care bill these last few weeks, no doubt hoping to be seen as having done something in this session.  These bills are on top of spending on the war and emergency aid for victims of the tsunami last December.

"Republicans are spending at a rate not seen since Lyndon Johnson's presidency," said Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union. Added Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense: "They're legislating as if deficits don't matter."

Posted by Lynn Allen on August 8, 2005 at 02:28 AM in Miscellany | Permalink

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