Politicians. Pork barrels. Some assembly required.

The New York Post points out that politicians in that state found many ways to bypass restrictions on pork barrel politics.

Since 1998, the Times Union’s Chris Bragg reported Sunday, state lawmakers have spent $1.9 billion on nearly 6,000 projects financed by Dormitory Authority bonds.

The authority itself does plenty of good work, and has since the state created it back in 1944 solely to finance college construction.

Its current “add-on” role as pork conduit began in 1998, after then-Gov. George Pataki vetoed all of the Assembly’s member items. In the end, Pataki wound up cutting a deal to fund much of the same pork via a new Community Enhancement Facilities Assistance Program, run through the Dorm Authority.

A few years later, slush-fund spending for the state Senate got added to the mix. And — unlike the old member items — none of it was spelled out in the state budget, where the public could at least see the pork.

. . .

Bottom line: Many of the worst abuses of New York’s taxpayers now take place out of sight. How’s that for reform? 

There’s more at the link.

I note that this isn’t limited to New York state – it’s nationwide.  Nor is it only on state government level.  Throughout the ‘chain’ of government, from national to state to regional to city to local, pork barrels abound.  Citizens Against Government Waste produces an annual Congressional Pig Book and State Piglets reports.  What’s more, I’m angry to read a report this morning that Congressional Republicans are discussing keeping at least some Obamacare taxes, even as they plan to repeal Obamacare itself.  Porkers indeed!  If the plan goes, the taxes should go with it – or it’s a farce.  (I know, I know . . . that’s never stopped greedy politicians before.)



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