Citizens Against Government Waste Is Out With the 2022 Congressional Pig Book

The Maine Writer

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The group Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, private 501(c)(3) organization that is a government watchdog. They are against wasteful and corrupt spending in government. This group has been watching out for taxpayers as an advocacy group and reporting on government spending since 1984. The group publishes its annual "Congressional Pig Book" every year at the end of the year, detailing wasteful spending and Congress members' wasteful spending.

The 2022 book also happens to be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Also notable was Congress overturning the earmark moratorium from 2011 and restoring earmarks in 2021. Citizens Against Government Waste has always pointed out these earmarks. Earmarks are a way for individual members of Congress to request funding for a project directly during the budget process. Earmarks have also been called pet projects. Both Democrat and Republican Party leaders banned earmarks back in 2010 over concerns that they were leading to wasteful spending and possible corruption. One of the changes made when earmarks were brought back was renaming them "community project funding." The full list of final funded projects can be viewed here.

Looking at the book, the fiscal year 2022 had an increase of 1,702.8% with 5,138 earmarks compared to the fiscal year 2021, which had 285 earmarks. The issue with earmarks is that they tend to benefit congressional members who serve on specific congressional committees the most.

For example for the fiscal year 2022, 41% of earmarks came from 89 members of the House and Senate appropriations committees, which make up just 17% of Congress. The five states receiving the most earmarks in the fiscal year 2022 were Alaska, Vermont, Hawaii, West Virginia, and Maine. The Department of Defense received the most earmarks, with 128 at a cost of $8 billion.

Some of the funding marked as wasteful includes $4,200,000 to be used for infrastructure improvements at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, $569,000 to remove lobster pots in Norwalk, Connecticut, and $38,375,000 for fish mitigation projects in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. These are just a few of the many projects that are being funded with taxpayer money. The 2022 Congressional Pig Book is full of wasteful spending and is recommended reading if you are concerned about Congress wasting taxpayer dollars.

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