In August, President Obama proclaimed that he would not tolerate pork in the defense budget by declaring “If a project doesn’t support our troops, we will not fund it.” He is being accused again of a substantial gap between his rhetoric and the reality of his politics. He just signed the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill with an estimated $4.2 billion in pork contained in 1,720 earmarks.
In a flagrant violation of the promise of both Obama and the Democrats, the defense bill is a continuation of the pork politics that they said that they would end. The bill includes the following:
∙$5 million for a visitors center in San Francisco
. $54 million for a flood-control project that will raise two trestles used by the Napa Valley Wine Train
∙$23 million for indigent health care in Hawaii
∙$18 million for the Edward Kennedy Policy Institute in Massachusetts
∙$1.6 million to computerize hospital records in Oakland
.$1.6 million for a Monterey graduate school
∙$47 million for anti-drug training centers around the country
∙$20 million for the World War II Museum in Louisiana
∙$3.9 million grant to develop an energy-efficient solar film for buildings
∙$800,000 for minority prostate cancer research
∙$3.6 million for marijuana eradication in Kentucky
∙$2.4 million for handicap access and a sprinkler system at a community club in New York
The bill also funds weapons that the Pentagon does not want such as $5 billion for two destroyers, 10 C-17 cargo planes and to develop a jet engine rejected earlier by Defense planners.
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