I haven’t published these in a while, so here is April’s Porker of the Month from the CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE. The award went to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina). Here’s the article:
Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) its April 2011 Porker of the Month for threatening to bring the Senate to a standstill over a $40,000 earmark for a federal study on deepening the port of Charleston. The study would investigate the effectiveness of deepening the port from 47 feet to 50 feet, an improvement that Sen. Graham claims will allow it to accommodate the types of ships that will “dominate shipping lanes” in the future. The earmark began as a $400,000 request that was rejected by the Senate Appropriations Committee in October, 2010. There was also no money for the project in the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget. Sen. Graham reduced his request to $40,000, but even that amount was not included in Congress’s FY 2011Continuing Resolution.
On April 11, 2011, Sen. Graham threw a fit over the failure to fund the project, telling reporters that he would “tie the Senate in knots” until the port study money was approved. On April 12, he tweeted, “No nominations go forward in Senate until we address CHS port.” Unfortunately, the tantrum paid off. Despite Congress’s ongoing earmark moratorium, on April 15 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pledged on the Senate floor that he would find funding for the study before the end of FY 2011. Sen. Reid stated that the money would “not be limited to South Carolina,” since Charleston is just one of 12 eligible recipient cities, but Sen. Graham was satisfied enough to stop his protest, indicating that he knows full well where the cash will land. The deepening of Charleston’s port is expected to cost $350 million.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.
Deepening a port by three feet for $350,000,000.00. $40,000 of taxpayer dollars just for the study. That’s a total of $130,000,000 per foot. What a bargain. And these people are constantly telling us the Federal government is broke (which it is beyond broke), threaten to shut down the government, and all of the other political hoopla we hear everyday. This is just a prime example that none of them in Washington really truly represent anyone’s interests other than their own.