A government of swine

And the winner goes to … Nevada, ranked 15th in the amount of pork-barrel spending, or government waste. The pig is apparently well fed—and at the expense of the citizens. Though pork-barrel spending is a small amount in comparison to the whole national budget, it is an added unnecessary waste brought upon by Congress.

In the 2008 fiscal year Nevada spent $158,779,895 in pork barrel waste, with Harry Reid winning the “Return to Sender” award by the Citizens Against Government Waste for spending $196,000 for the renovation and transformation of a Las Vegas post office. This amount puts Nevada at 15th in the nation for pork-barrel spending per capita.

In California, $50,000 was spent for a tattoo removal program, and $270,000 was spent in Missouri to combat “goth culture.” All of this is ridiculous and excessive. If someone made the choice of getting a tattoo they later regretted, let them face their mistakes and own up to them. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to fund a program to help them escape their own stupid mistakes.

Pork barrel spending is a way for congressmen to bring money home to their constituents, which in turn helps them to get re-elected. If they are spending money on things like this just to get re-elected, they should be laughed at instead of voted back into office. Our national debt is several trillion dollars now so every dollar we can save would be beneficial to this country and our economy. Spending more for the sake of spending is something I did in high school, not as an adult, and it is certainly something I would never wish for the government to do.

As a broke college student, it would be nice to see more of my hard-earned money stay in my pocket, instead of watching it go to wasteful uses such as the combat-goth-culture program. Pork spending is a way for congressmembers to make their constituents happy, but if their constituents knew where the money was going, I don’t think they would be too happy at all. The 2008 Pork Book found $17.2 billion in pork barrel spending on 11,610 different projects. Where did that money go? Better off, where could that money have gone?

The money that Congress chooses to use on these special projects could have been returned to the people or used to pay off our national debt. There’s a thought—one that our government seems to have pushed into the back of their minds.

This mismanagement of taxpayer dollars is the type of thing that makes the people doubt the capability of their government. Our taxes are too high, and still, there are these laughable projects. With the state of this country there needs to be a greater focus on repairing the problems we face at the present time.

Sen. Harry Reid tells us this is business as usual. This is the way things have been for years. Just because this is the way things have been does not make it an efficient way to run the government. If we ran our government as a business, waste would be minimized, and the economy would improve. In running a government like a business, there would be no extra cash for ridiculous and useless projects. This is something to think about when electing our officials, can they handle the money we are unwillingly giving them?