Adventures in Porkland: how Washington wastes your money and why they won't stop.
Transcription of Annotations
Notes on front endpapers: Conference committees--USS Kennedy. Coats/Burton. Underlinings/notes: Lawrence Welk. $500,000 grant to make a memorial out of Welk's boyhood farm in Strasburg, ND. Americans have become a nation boiling mad with barely contained rage over so many subjects. Congress's shifty little deals aren't things that really matter--like the federal budget deficit, mortgage interest rates, unemployment. Gas Congress/Money Congress. Money Congress--cold-blooded business run by handful of people who deal with boring numbers, spend incredible amounts of money. Ultimate power of Congress, the ability to take money out of people's pockets. Most dangerous place to stand, between members of Gass Congress--Ted Kennedy, Bob Dole, Joe Biden, Alan Simpson, Tom Foley, Newt Gingrich--and a TV camera--you'll be trampled. Money Congress: Robert Byrd, Dan Rostenkowski, Robert Roe, Jamie Whitten--prefer that press/public keep their distance. Q.B.--Quentin Burdick. If he wants it, he gets it. Barons of Capitol Hill; College of Cardinals. Spends $52.2 billion. Tip O'Neill--all politics is local. Pork Barrel--phrase from pre-Civil War custom of doling out slabs of salt pork from a big barrel to field slaves. One nation under greed. Congress funded studies on sexual habits Japanese Quail, how long it takes to cook breakfast eggs. $7 million grant for study of jet-lag, half a million dollars to build a ten-story replica of the Pyramid of Cheops and a model of the Greet Wall of China in Bedford, Indiana. Funded studies on: why people fall in love, rudeness, cheating/lying on tennis courts, better ways to can mackerel, likelihood of Belgian endive growing in MA. Deficit-reduction package boosted taxes, increased spending, raised the deficit. Deficit: 1. Enormous, 2. Common sense says it is dangerous to the health of the country; 3. No one cares. Darman--we win it now; we fix it later. Byrd speech on spending. Pork was what Byrd wanted, Daman didn't mind. Darman paid high price financially/politically--conservatives saw him as Marxist. Darman got caps; Byrd got pork. Under Gramm-Rudman, deficit gone by 1992. Under Darman-Byrd $250 billion, became $399.6 billion--eventually $4 trillion in federal debt. No federal employee lost his/her job. Bush--nice to be with real people, outside Washington. C-Span Congress. Ralph Regula, OH, $320,00 to buy the home of William McKinley's in-laws' house. Al Gore, Jr. wanted $500,000.00 to create park/museum at birthplace of Cordell Hull. $4 million for Japanese-American museum in Ontario, OR, $2.7 million for freshwater catfish farm in Stuttgart, AR. $2 million allegedly to promote sale of native Hawaiian handcrafts. Inouye--$50 million to rehabilitate private George Washington Univ. Hospital. Bud Shuster Highway. Chris Perkins Highway. "Tip" O'Neill--all spending is good spending. Tip got $20 million for International Fund for Ireland, project to study Irish ancestry, video touting Irish golf courses, program to promote sale of Irish goods in Boston. John Murtha--plan to buy fleet of Gulfstream IV jets for use of Guard commanders. Coal? Pentagon has ten-year supply. National Park Service. Bike study, $1 million, why people do not ride bikes more often. $8 million for Senate elevators, $6 million to upgrade Senate subway, $250,000 to study placement of TV lights in the Senate, $2 million to refurbish a House restaurant, $375,000 to renovate House beauty parlor; $25,000 to study location for a House gym; $40,000 for new wastebaskets. Byrd got $700 million of special projects for WV. C-Span--J. Peter Grace. Playing to C-Span news junkies. James Payne, Culture of Spending, of 1,060 witnesses, only 7 spoke against spending more money. Darman had to know numbers were wrong--since taking over OMB all his estimates had been wrong. White House budget--cautious, pragmatic, sneaky, well intentioned like Darman. Bush--pork store open for business. Steamtown USA--federal railroad museum--Pork--Scranton, PA. Daniel J. Flood. Interstate 81 jogs to east through Wilkes-Barre instead of through Pittsburgh. Flood reelected under indictment for perjury, bribery and influence peddling for improperly obtaining government contracts. Joe McDade--federal prosecutors investigating sleazy behavior. Politics was not a calling but a job for McDade. Two living memorials--Joseph M. McDade Center for Technology and Applied Research, county's McDade Park/ Anthracite Coal Museum--Heritage USA museum. Steamtown USA--virtual pork poster child. Erie-Lackawanna Station rehabbed into hotel via federal funds. James McClure helped get Steamtown USA into bill. Independence Park--home where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, Old City Hall closed due to lack of maintenance funds. Despite 19 mill. visitors,19th on Park Service priority list. Top of list Steam Town, Bob Byrd, Frank Lautenberg, Sam Gedenson, John Murtha. McDade is an expert with add-ons. Authorizing process is sometimes fair/logical. McDade and other appropriators routinely short-circuit that process. By 1991, another $12 million. Asked for $40 million to complete project, $6.5 million every year to run it. Over 10 years--over $100 million. Senator Dan Coates. Angered Allegheny twins--John Murtha/Joe McDade--Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Jamie Whitten , 50th year in Senate, opposed Slattery's amendment. Conference committee--don't want press/members of Congress--Open session--deals already helped. House Appropriation. Sid Yates, Bill Natcher, Jamie Whitten, Willian Lehman. Ed Roybal, Neal Smith, Tom Bevill, John Murtha, Vic Fazio--College of Cardinals--dominate business of Congress. Byrd acquired more pork in shorter period of time than any member of Congress in history. Why spending more money on a state where people leaving at rate of 20,000 a year? Byrd compared to Daniel Webster/John C. Calhoun. Trap Underwood, resident of Crab Orchard. Porkbusters: Harris Fawell, Bob Walker, Chris Cox, Mel Hancock, Tim Penny, Bob Smith. Porkbusters Bill--billion dollars, 325 projects. Dick Army's closing plan. $20 billion in special breaks given out in 1986, 1991 $27.4 billion in special-interest breaks. Government money at stake, vigilant press assumes role as community booster, views representatives as village champion. Pork helped explain deficit, deficit helped explain pork. Deficit became arms control debate of the 1990s. By end of 1992, total debt around $4 trillion. Average taxpayer--$12,984 to feds in 1991. Harry Truman ran 4 surpluses; Dwight Eisenhower, 3. Nixon big spender for his day; Jerry Ford careless; Jimmy Carter prudent. George Bush--add $1.2 trillion. 1990, Congress/White House raised debt limit to $4.145 trillion, high enough they would not raise it until after 1992 elections. Only Italy has larger deficit as share of GNP than US. Foreigners own $20% of debt. Washington-- relieved that the country does not understand those numbers. Barbara Mikulski--Madame Cardinal, only female member of College of Cardinals. Bob Traxler. VA money--172 hospitals, 500 facilities, 200,000 staff; hasn't closed a hospital since 1965. VA official--need no new facilities, should close a lot.