Pork Barrel

Topics: United States Congress, Pork barrel, Earmark Pages: 2 (688 words) Published: November 10, 2013

Pork Barreling and Earmarking are slang terms typically referring to government spending by politicians to gain more votes toward their campaign  Examples of this include our very own Robert C. Hall bridge at Marshall University. However, Earmarking and Pork Barreling are not quite the same thing. Congressional earmarks are typically defined as guarantees of federal expenditures to certain recipients in appropriations-related documents, while "pork" involves funding for government programs in which their economic or service benefits are mainly focused in a particular area, but charge all taxpayers for the cost. Things such as public works projects and specific national defense spending projects are examples of this. Many argue that these things are a waste of government time and money, which should be spent on other, more important things, like aiding other countries in need, or assisting in disaster results, rather than "The Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska which cost $398 million dollars, or "The Big Dig" in Boston which cost over $14.6 billion dollars. Is it such a big waste though? Personally, I think it all depends on what it goes to. If you create a science building for a University, who previously did not have one, I believe is a good purchase. It helps advertise your campaign, and give many students an opportunity they previously did not have. However, if you spend tax dollars on something such as a 22.7 million dollar building renovation  that will indeed save up to 53 jobs, but takes 25 years for the costs of the renovations to be recouped, might seem a little unreasonable. This brings us to Fennox's Paradox. From an outside state, seeing a member of Congress spending money on a renovation of a building may seem like a waste, but the people local to the Congressman might support them whole heartedly. That is an example of Fennox's paradox, which essentially states that everyone hates the Congress as a whole unit, but loves their own...


References: Fiorina, Morris P;, Peterson E. Johnson, Bertrand; Mayer, William G. 2011 The New Documentary. 7th Edition , Longman Publishing
McElroy, Wendy. 2013, Pork Barrel Spending: The History of Lipstick Pigs. New York Post.
Stinebrickner, Bruce. 2013. “ Annual Editions: American Government.” 13/14 Edition.
Brainard Jefferey; Anne M. Borrego, 2003. Academic pork barrel tops $2-billion for first time. The Chronicle of Higher Education.
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