Pork doesn’t deserve our prejudice

By Baxter Black: PNT columnist When the Asian flu hit the country in 2003, were people warned to stay away from Chinese restaurants and Japanese cars? When the West Nile virus was diagnosed in humans did the Health Department tell us to avoid going to Egypt? Does riding Tennessee walkers give you a charley horse? [...]

Congress anxious to put pork back on its menu

Editorial Congressional Democrats did an admirable job of purging pork barrel projects — also called earmarks — from spending bills that were left unfinished when Republicans were ousted from power last fall. They had to do something, given all their campaign rhetoric about those fiscally feckless Republicans. But whether they can for long hold the [...]

Timid gestures won’t slow congressional spending

Editorial Just as it took the anti-Communist Richard Nixon to go to China, because anyone else would have been accused of cuddling up with the Reds, perhaps it will take congressional Democrats — a party never associated with fiscal discipline — to help put a halt to the abuse of pork-barrel earmarks. Or perhaps Speaker-in-waiting [...]

Editorial

Get ready for some squealing. The “Congressional Pig Book,” an annual exposé of some of the worst pork barrel projects conceived by Congress, is due out this week. The report’s release is never a happy occasion inside the Beltway, but this year it’s even less so, given the spotlight that lobbying scandals have shone on [...]

Shaming Congress away from pork barrel won’t work

Editorial There’s a serious flaw in the thinking of reformers who believe congressional pork-barrel spending can be curbed by forcing members to attach their names to the pet projects (or “earmarks”) they slip into appropriations bills, in circumvention of the normal budget procedures. They hope bringing more transparency and accountability to the process will shame [...]