When Pigs Fly: Congress Inserts over 4,000 Pork Earmarks in Spending Bill

For years, Congress has dispensed with the pretense of informed legislative process when it comes to major bills and appropriations. The new $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill, however, took the notion of blind legislating to a disgraceful degree. Democratic leadership dumped the almost 3,000 page bill on the members (and the public) on Wednesday with only a couple days to review the massive spending. That includes over 4,000 pork projects in earmarks.

According to  the Hill, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) alone has a long list of earmarks for his state ahead of his reelection bid.  That includes 59 earmarks totaling nearly $80 million in the transportation and housing and urban development (HUD) section alone.

While Congress disavowed earmarks, the pork-ridden bill shows that both parties have abandoned the pledge.  Spending trillions in the last couple years appears to have removed any sense of fiscal responsibility or accountability. We are now over $30 trillion in debt so what are a few pork items — or in Schumer’s case 142 such items. (Some argue that debt is really only $22 trillion and that debt does not matter).

It was a clever move at a perfect time. With Ukraine raging and people traumatized over the war, leadership like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Cal.) kept bringing questions back to $14 billion in aid for Ukraine. Members stressed that there was no time to waste — or in this case to read — before voting.

It is a familiar tactic on pork spending. You can hide an entire drove of pigs behind a single redeeming budget item.

What is most alarming is the level of duplicity. The bill was withheld by leadership to guarantee little time for the members, let alone the public, from seriously considering the specific expenditures. It shows utter contempt for the concept of public deliberation and debate in the legislation. One must accept the word of the leadership and vote in the blind.

In the meantime, even before this package, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget predicted that the debt-to-GDP ratio is at 101% and the total federal debt, including intragovernmental debt, may exceed 120%. Even if debt does not matter (as some have claimed) most citizens oppose pork barrel spending.

All of that is worth discussing but it is hard to have that debate when congressional leaders are dumping massive bills and calling for quick votes on little more than the cover page.

66 thoughts on “When Pigs Fly: Congress Inserts over 4,000 Pork Earmarks in Spending Bill”

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  2. How many identified clear and present need to the nation? How many identified a source of income to pay for the pork” How much of the pork was voted on by the entire House of Representatives? Do I smell the clear and present tainted danger of Pelosillyni-ism?

    1. Michael Aarethun – it has the heady stench of both Schumerism and Pelosyism. I doubt we will be able to ever clear the air.

  3. “Buy an electric vehicle” they said, explaining their solution to rising gas prices. They want to get rid of fossil fuels. Great. Perhaps they will explain how wind farms, solar panels and other “renewable energy” sources will replace oil to produce the following:

    Glenn explained that only about half of each barrel of oil is turned into gasoline. The other half is turned into everyday items such as solvents, ink, floor wax, ballpoint pins, football cleats, insecticides, boats, sweaters, upholstery, bicycle tires, sports car bodies, nail polish, fishing lures, perfumes, golf bags, tires, dresses, cassettes, dishwasher parts, toolboxes, shoe polish, transport transparent tape, petroleum jelly, caulking, motorcycle helmets, CD players, faucet parts, clothes lines, curtains, food preservatives, baseballs, basketballs, soap, vitamin capsules, antihistamines, purses, shoes, dashboards, cortisone, deodorant, shoelace aglets, putty, dyes, pantyhose, refrigerants, linings, rubber, rubbing alcohol, life jackets, percolators, skis, TV cabinets, shag rugs, electrician’s tape, paint, epoxy, car battery cases, tool racks, mops, slacks, insect repellent, oil filters, hair coloring, fertilizers, yarn, umbrellas, diesel fuel, motor oil, bearing grease, roofing, toilet seats, fishing rods, lipstick, denture adhesives, linoleum, ice cube trays, synthetic rubber, speakers, plastic wood, electric blankets, glycerin, dice, fishing boats, rubber cement, tennis rackets, nylon rope, candles, trash bags, house paint, water pipes, hand lotion, roller skates, surfboards, shampoo, wheels, paint rollers, shower curtains, safety glasses, aspirin luggage, guitar strings, antifreeze, football helmets, awnings, eyeglasses, clothes, toothbrushes, ice chests, footballs, combs, CDs, DVDs, paint brushes, detergents, tents, balloons, vaporizers, heart valves, crayons, parachutes, telephones, enamel, pillows, dishes, cameras, anesthetics, artificial turf, artificial limbs, bandages, hair curlers, folding doors, model cars, dentures, cold cream, movie film, soft contact lenses, drinking cups, ammonia, shaving cream, car enamel, fan belts, refrigerators, golf balls, and toothpaste, to name a few.

    Or just blame Putin.

    1. SQ has been around a while. Some of the news sites he picks up seem a bit wild.

  4. If printing & borrowing i.e debt is not a problem then why it is government need to collect taxes?

    1. Anonymous, I’ve been saying that for years. The federal government collects over 41/2 trillion dollars a year in taxes. It’s still not enough.

      1. No Amount of Taxes Will Ever Be Enough! Best to go after the Offices of All Federal, State and Local Pollywafflers and Burn them to the Ground. That’s the Only Way to Stop These B–tards. It Will get to that eventually when the Money everyone has is Either Worthless or of Such Little Value that it might as well be Worthless. That’s How You Kill Capitalism, with too much Debt to pay back. That’s what the Left Always Do and the RINO’S! Betrayers of All of US!

    2. Because that’s the way the Fed makes it’s money by Stealth. A Stupid President agreed to pay them on Jekyll Island over 100 years ago at the Expense of the People.

  5. “The new $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill . . .”

    That’s just brilliant. Skyrocketing inflation is making everyone poorer. So they flood the market with more fiat money — and create more inflation.

    Get out your wheelbarrow. You’ll need it to carry all that cash to the store, to buy a loaf of bread.

  6. They really do want to bankrupt America, so they can claim they are here to help us. Screw them. Time for tar and feathers.

  7. Can a Democrat Legislator Overeat?

    Knowing that Democrat legislators can eat so much, it would be very interesting to learn if Democrat legislators can end up overeating.

    So can Democrat legislators end up overeating? Technically, a Democrat legislator has the capacity to eat as much as it wants, so it will overeat when given the chance. However, overeating does not mean that it will blow up like a balloon when it has had too much. Its body will continue digesting the food, but it may end up unhealthy and overweight.

    A Democrat legislator’s digestive system is truly amazing. Did you know that a Democrat legislator can literally eat garbage, and its body will automatically filter toxins out and will store the harmful substances within the layers of fat in their body?
    Even better, when they consume too much toxin, their bowels have the ability to excrete the bad stuff out of its body.

    But this doesn’t mean that a Democrat legislator should be left to eat whatever it can find. A Democrat legislator only overeats when its owner overfeeds it. This is why it’s critical that a Democrat legislator owner knows what’s good for the Democrat legislator and what’s not. This ensures that you have a happy, healthy Democrat legislator.

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