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Global Skywatch

2020 Congressional Pig Book


Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has published their report for the year 2020. It is easy to look suspiciously at the salaries and raises congresscritters give themselves while we get any crumbs that may slip between their grubby fingers.

The bigger picture shows that graft and corruption are for more significant to their personal wealth than the “peanuts” we officially pay them. Mega-businesses along with corrupt rulers world-wide are happy to buy favors from the District of Criminals (Washington DC) because million dollar bribes return ten to hundreds of times that by the time the entire transaction process is completed.

The earmarks highlighted by this study are major parts of that. Others hide better, but the obvious ones are plenty bad by themselves.

– Ted

Summary

The Congressional Pig Book is CAGW’s annual compilation of the pork-barrel projects in the federal budget. 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. To qualify as pork, a project must meet one of seven criteria that were developed in 1991 by CAGW and the Congressional Porkbusters Coalition.

 

Introduction
The United States faces an imminent fiscal reckoning.

The current national debt of $26.5 trillion is going to grow at a record pace over the next decade. A January 2020 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report forecast an average annual deficit of $1.3 trillion between fiscal years (FY) 2021 and 2030, rising to $1.7 trillion by the end of the decade, adding $12.4 trillion to the national debt and bringing it to $36.2 trillion. That estimate was made prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent healthcare crisis and economic shutdown. One estimate suggests that the pandemic will add $8 trillion to CBO’s FY 2030 projection, for a total of $44.2 trillion.

It is in this climate that Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) releases the 2020 Congressional Pig Book, which demonstrates that legislators continue to pack the 12 spending bills that fund the federal government with pork.

For the third year in a row, members of Congress have set a record for the cost of earmarks during the supposed earmark moratorium. This year’s Congressional Pig Book exposes 274 earmarks, a decrease of 2.8 percent from the 282 in FY 2019. While the number of earmarks declined slightly, their cost went in the opposite direction. Legislators added $15.9 billion in earmarks in FY 2020, an increase of 3.9 percent from the $15.3 billion in FY 2019. The cost of the FY 2020 earmarks is only 3.6 percent less than the $16.5 billion in FY 2010, the last year prior to the moratorium. Since FY 1991, CAGW has identified 111,417 earmarks costing $375.7 billion.

While the increase in the cost of earmarks from FY 2019 is significant, it pales in comparison to the growth since FY 2017. The $15.9 billion in FY 2020 is an increase of 133.8 percent from the $6.8 billion in FY 2017. The number of earmarks has also risen sharply. The 274 earmarks in FY 2020 is a 68.1 percent increase from the 163 in FY 2017.

… more … Citizens Against Government Waste