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August 06, 2007

With 75,000 Bridges Deemed "Structurally Deficient," Congress Porks Out On Amusement Park Renovations and the "National Mule and Packer Museum"

Tipped to this by someone in the anti-pork Congressional camp. He sent along a long list of newspaper citations for the earmarks but I'm going to omit them.

I have, however, passed them around to other bloggers who assure me these "smell good." If it's enough for TNR ("the in-flight magazine of Air Force One!") it's good enough for me.

With bridges collapsing and the national debt expected to reach $9 trillion in weeks, Congress continues its spending spree.

$200,000 earmark to finance a single bus in Michigan

$200,000 to reconstruct a parking lot in Massachusetts

$300,000 to renovate an amusement park in Texas

$50,000 to establish the National Mule and Packer Museum in California

$250,000 to expand a parking garage in California

$250,000 for a community center at the county fairgrounds in Ohio

$265,000 for a cinema in Massachusetts

$200,000 for a new artificial field in Massachusetts

$1,000,000 to extend a rail trail by 14 miles

$200,000 to relocate a library in Connecticut

More... below. It gets worse.

I thought you all might be interested in the following information about the infamous 2005 highway bill. The bill contained more than 6,300 earmarks, including the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska, at a cost of $24.2 billion.

The state of Minnesota received 147 earmarks from the bill worth $495 million according to Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Included in the list of Minnesota transportation earmarks are “high priority” projects like $1.578 million for bicycle trail construction, $1.3 million for a new visitor’s center, and $1.52 for streetscape construction.

The inclusion of these seemingly unnecessary earmarks begs the question: if these are designated by Congress as a “high priority,” then what does a low priority look like?

"Low priority" looks an awful lot like a collapsed bridge.

I'm pushing the idea of a law undoing all transportation bill earmarks in favor of critical infrastructure repair. Others are talking about increasing gas taxes -- well, that may or may not be necessary, but first, oughtn't we free up all of these dodgy earmarks for actual infrastructure repair to see how much more we really need?

Hopefully McCain will get on board with this. He's already made the connection between pork and the collapse.

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posted by Ace at 12:27 PM

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