Acton Institute Powerblog

CAGW Names Names

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Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has released their “Pig Book” for 2008, which is an “annual compilation of the pork-barrel projects in the federal budget. The 2008 Pig Book identified 11,610 projects at a cost of $17.2 billion in the 12 Appropriations Acts for fiscal 2008. A ‘pork’ project is a line-item in an appropriations bill that designates tax dollars for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures.”

According to CAGW, “despite last year’s ethics and lobbying ‘reform,’ pork-barrel earmarks – the currency of corruption in Washington, D.C. – are alive and well.”

Senators of note (PDF):

Clinton: 281 projects, $296.2 million
Levin, Carl: 255 projects, $301.4 million
McCain: 0 projects, $0.0 million
Obama: 53 projects, $97.4 million
Stabenow: 220 projects, $232.5 million

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.


  • karen weber

    Jordan, I am shocked! Maybe you could send this to the NYT and GR Press. Be sure to connect the dots for them because they seem to miss stories like this:)

  • Clare Krishan

    Is this really something of concern to the many Americans facing uncertainty in the financial markets as their guaranteed-benefit employer-provided pensions are being “ratcheted down” and they have to rapidly educate themselves on the vagaries of futures and derivatives trading to compete with the private equity brokers who get preferential treatment at the Fed discount window?

    Read “Bailing our the Reaganites”
    “Until recently, McCain’s economic message consisted chiefly of abolishing congressional earmarks in appropriations bills — a classic Reaganite proposal that would have no effect on our economic situation. (Earmarks amount to a little more than one-tenth of 1 percent of gross domestic product.)”

    and kindly refute…

    Privatizing Social Security in this environment could be considered criminally negligent…