Utah No. 13 in federal pork-barrel spending

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  • UtahBlueDevil
    April 16, 2010 10:39 a.m.

    The funny thing is I would love to see smaller federal spending, and force those decisions back on the state to fund these programs.

    Take mass trasnsit systems. Ultimately everyone knows we need them. And they are largely funded out of federal dollars to get them off the ground. It is a form of indirect spending. You local representative can sit there and claim they were fiscally responsible, all the while spending federal dollars to provide services they didn't have to go to the well to provide. The local reps then can decry the crazy federal spending, looking blameless.

    I think it would be great if we could cut our federal tax bills by half, and force the locals to not hide behind federally funded programs. School boards would have to justify the real cost of local eductaion to the voters, not the federally subsidized numbers.

    And voters would have to realize their local and state taxes would sky rocket. Small communities would be devestated, larger communities benefit. But at least they will know who to really hold responsible for the spending, rather than the big bad federal government.

  • Billy Bob
    April 15, 2010 12:01 p.m.

    I have said this before and I will say it again. Big spending is not a partisan problem. Democrats and Republicans are both responsible, Democrats just generally more so. This is exactly the reason we need to vote everyone out, eliminate the two party system (thus letting everyone vote for principles rather then parties), and have term limits for ever elected position. I guarantee if we did this, corruption in government and pork spending would decrease dramatically.

    That is why I no longer call myself a "republican". Rather, I am a Conservative Libertarian. No true conservative is for massive federal spending.

  • davidjay
    April 15, 2010 8:52 a.m.

    It may not be "this type of discretionary funding" which is the problem, but this type of discretionary funding is symptomatic of the problem. Social Security and Medicare would still be in good shape if their funds had been kept in a "trust fund" where they could have earned interest. However, it was decided to lump these funds into the general fund.

    Earmarks are a prime example of "false talk" or political mumbo jumbo or whatever you want to call it. A bunch of old men who believe they know better how to spend our money.

    The real issue is one of honesty. Honesty to our self. Once we destroy the federal government we will have less money to spend here in Utah. We now get back much more than we give. If you are alright with that, then by all mean continue to bad mouth the feds. Carry signs and scream until you are blue in the face. By all means enjoy yourself.

    Just know that your Utah taxes will have to go up to try to maintain the roads, schools and other infrastructure.

  • Eliot
    April 15, 2010 8:38 a.m.

    In my opinion, earmarks or pork are just a symptom of a very large problem. The problem is the size and scope of the federal government fueled by deficit spending. It makes little sense to me that we would find it acceptable to tax ourselves, send the revenue across the country and then bring it back to our communities to fund local projects. I see that as wasteful. Nevertheless, it is not this type of discretionary funding which is really causing the big problems for our nation. What is really getting us into trouble is the nondiscretionary funding. The unfunded mandates associated with social security and medicare will be the ruin of our nation because I just don't see how we are going to meet those obligations. It is very easy to point fingers and accuse one group or another of hypocrisy or whatever but I don't think that is very helpful. We have some big problems that we need to solve and I think it will take all of us working together to get it done.

  • Esquire
    April 15, 2010 8:33 a.m.

    I've said it all along. Utahns love the federal money, despite their huffing and puffing about the evil feds, deficits and taxes. It isn't the federal dollars I have a problem with. It's the hypocrisy of our Congressional delegation and the right wingers of this state. "Cut spending, except for us" is their mantra.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    April 15, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    RE: UtahBlueDevil | 5:33 a.m. April 15, 2010
    Brother Chuck... Pork funded much of what we now have as a tech industry. Many startups in bio medical and raw technology had their grass roots in government grants and pork, and still do.

    Reply Back: Your right, we really don't need to watch our technology evaporate, it already did decades ago, with the start of Windows 5. America is to be the best place on planet earth, and we are to be the best high tech place also, then if this is true, because the GOP built it that way through de-regulations, supporting big business, then, why do we still have to call India for tech support ?. ALL the pork, and earmarks needs to stop, that's the bottom line. Glenn Beck is planning to replace our democracy with a fascist Mormon regime and how he's relying on a Saudi Arabian terrorist sympathizer to help him do it. At this point, there are two types of people in America, the 10 million people who pay attention to Glenn Beck and the 294 million who try, and fail, to ignore him.

  • Pagan
    April 15, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    Sorry, typo.

    'Tell me if I'm wrong, but earmarks don't actually increase spending, right?' - 7:45 a.m.

    Earl, your wrong.

    Earmarks take tax funding and allocate them to states as requested.
    If the states did not REQUEST said funds, they might go somewhere else.
    Like, Oh I dunno, towards our national deficit?
    The same national deficit every republican office has been dead set against the last, two, years.
    However, strangely, said nothing the last 10.
    If America actually kept its federal dollars and used it towards its debt we might see it *gasp go down!
    However, our state goverments would collapse in 15 days.
    So, strangely states advocate federal funds...
    while at the same time advocating against federal spending.
    This 'the money does good' argument sounds weak when presented with the facts that states claim the federal goverment 'meddles' in our lives.
    Do or don't.
    But don't try both.
    If your against federal goverment, you shouldn't ask for federal money.
    Because you just admited by proxy, the state needs the federal goverment you 'fighting' against.

  • Pagan
    April 15, 2010 8:16 a.m.

    'Tell me if I'm wrong, but earmarks don't actually increase spending, right?' - 7:45 a.m.

    Earl, your wrong.

    Earmarks take tax funding and allocate them to states as requested.
    If the states did not REQUEST

  • Earl
    April 15, 2010 7:45 a.m.

    Tell me if I'm wrong, but earmarks don't actually increase spending, right? They only reallocate the amount that's already been appropriated. If that's so, why is it so bad to let it come back home instead of letting federal administrators decide where they want to spend it? Earmarks are not the enemy, but the appropriations usually are.

  • UtahBlueDevil
    April 15, 2010 5:33 a.m.

    Brother Chuck... and that has to do with Pork how?

    Pork funded much of what we now have as a tech industry. Many startups in bio medical and raw technology had their grass roots in government grants and pork, and still do. As a country, we have a tradition of pork. The wast was established through pork to the railroads.

    Let's clear the haze of political rhetoric, and talk reality. Sure we could get rid of pork, but then we would also watch our technology advantage evaporate when compared to Europe and Asia where their governments still fund basic research.

    Do you really think Boeing would have be producing the carbon fibre Dreamliner if it were not for funds funneled to it where the basic research was funded by the DOD.

  • My2Cents
    April 15, 2010 4:02 a.m.

    What ever the reason Pork Barrel funds were obtained for Utah does not mean these funds are used as intended.

    Utah laws put all funds in the state budget then divvy up the funds for any use. If the pork funds were used as obtained, this states budget would be in trouble. Just like funds obtained through bonds and bonding the citizens, they too end up in the state budget with token amounts used on the bond approvals.

    Our legislators should practice what they preach and cut pork funding along with other federal costs. The best solution is to eliminate earmarks to states and put all funding on the books to be scrutinized and approved by Congress. Earmarks bypass the approval process and often are wasteful spending of tax funds.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    April 14, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    Let's talk pork - America is the best place on planet earth, and we are the best high tech place also, then if this is true, because the GOP built it that way, supporting big business, then, why do we still have to call India for tech support ?. You betcha we are smart, A California university president said a portion of a contract between a school foundation and Sarah Palin for an upcoming speech was stolen from a campus administrator's office last week. California State University, Stanislaus president Hamid Shirvani said the five-page document at the center of an escalating controversy over access to records was taken from a recycling bin inside the office of Susana Gajic-Bruyea, vice president for university advancement. I guess their getting attacked over political ideology also. In 2009, CSU spent 40 percent of the money raised by its auxiliary organizations or $570 million on instruction, research and academic support. Their auxiliaries play a vital role in making sure we can provide the best educational experience possible for our students. Duh!.

  • Screwdriver
    April 14, 2010 10:40 p.m.

    Friends.... :) McCain again proved that Obama has saved the nation another trillion dollars in goverment spending and morein skyrocketing oil prices just by beating McCain in the election.

    McCain said," It's time to pull the trigger on Iran." So he would be invading Iran right now if he were president.

    Thank you Obama, most of all for NOT being McCain.

  • Pagan
    April 14, 2010 7:38 p.m.

    'As long as the vocal fraction of the Republicans party keeps pushing for party purity, the party is doomed.' - 6:16 p.m.

    This is a very good point. And often why many recive such scrutiny when promoting 'family values' and cheating on spouses.
    The continual quest for 'purity' is self-defeating. As, only through diversity, can many examples achieve any real amount of success.
    We don't like you if your gay. We don't like you if your black. We don't like you if your this. We don't like you if your that.
    Eventually, there will only be one person left in the room.

  • UtahBlueDevil
    April 14, 2010 6:16 p.m.

    This is a great example of how wrapped this debate has become. You have one side so fixated on being anti anything and everything that they can't pull up long enough to have a reasonable debate on the value of these projects to this state. As mentioned before, "pork" or directed spending doesn't always equate to waste - often quit the contrary. Discussion should be around the value of these projects, not some petty pent up feelings about an individual.

    As long as the vocal fraction of the Republicans party keeps pushing for party purity, the party is doomed. Consensus comes through compromise, meeting in the middle. The "take our toys and go home" approach is just was immature and silly as adults as it was when we were 6 years old. Writer here that promote such tactics don't understand the realities of governing a diverse land with divers people. Sorry, it can't all be just your way.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
    April 14, 2010 5:26 p.m.

    Senator Hatch was at town hall meeting expressing his shared anger at Washington spending...wait a minute...oh wait, it is different when he does it, of course, silly me.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    April 14, 2010 5:19 p.m.

    Here's the big question's. Palin rallies tea partiers with anti-tax message but while flying around the Country, has she read on the plain the new 2010 annual "Pig Book" on pork spending and earmarks from the GOP?. Yes the GOP are all angel's, but is there strip clubs in Utah, because now a complaint about how Utah County Republican Party officials handled donations received during recent party caucuses may result in changes to make sure donations are properly recorded and reported.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    April 14, 2010 4:46 p.m.

    Thanks Utah (that don't want to raise taxes), the 9,129 projects in the report represent a 10.2 percent decline from the 10,160 projects identified in fiscal year 2009, and the $16.5 billion in cost is a 15.5 percent decrease from the $19.6 billion in pork in fiscal year 2009. I guess Bob Bennett wants to get re-elected, and Hatch wants to quit, all red faced.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
    April 14, 2010 4:39 p.m.

    Tea Party people are devoid of critical thinking and would chop their noses off to spite their faces. Senator Bennett is one of the most conservative senators yet some want to toss him out over one issue. Silly thinking no matter what party you belong to.

  • williary
    April 14, 2010 4:16 p.m.

    Typical hypocrisy from Utah Republicans. Nothing new here.

    Except that the DNews actually published it.

  • davidjay
    April 14, 2010 4:14 p.m.

    47% of people pay no federal income tax. Utah has big families and small incomes. If I remember my schooling that should equal Utah people don't pay much income tax.

    All this pork barrel money comes from taxes. Utah gets twice the national average. This state will lose money when the federal government is removed by the Tea Party. Utah already has budget problems funding necessary programs. Utah will be in real trouble after the tea party gets its way in november.

    Maybe we should rethink.

  • Dixie Dan
    April 14, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    As bad as all this pork appears to be, it is still almost 50% less than the Republican controlled Congress spent in 2006 when they had $29 Billion in ear marks. Don't you just love the hypocracy of the Patrick Henry party?

  • MormonDem
    April 14, 2010 3:33 p.m.

    Boo, pork barrel spending!

    Oh, wait, you mean all that money from the government that pays for my aerospace job? Yay, pork barrel spending!

    And of course it's long been the case that the most conservative states all around the country (including Utah) are the ones that receive more money in federal spending than they contribute in federal taxes. In other words, wealthy liberal states are subsidizing the freeloading poor conservative states.

    It's the murkin' way!

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    April 14, 2010 3:20 p.m.

    Utah's STAR icon Sen. Hatch was in on this to, why the homeless and unemployed suffer. $45,677,328 for 24 projects by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), including: $27,643,472 directed to the Yazoo River and Basin, a plan long derided as wasteful, with an estimated cost of $200 million, which would drain thousands of acres of wetlands and forests in order to increase useable farm land; $1,968,000 for bioengineering research training at Jackson State University; $590,400 for the University of Mississippi Medical Center for research in the areas of increasing efficiency by reducing the amount of contrast media needed for certain procedures; and $3,936,000 for the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems at Mississippi State University. $9,089,000 by Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) for construction, renovation, and equipment at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. A press release appearing on Sen. Shelby's website on June 21, 2007 specified that a 70,000 square foot interdisciplinary health services building would be constructed at his alma mater using Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) money.

  • Pagan
    April 14, 2010 3:17 p.m.

    'Huge headache - no good solution except for minimizing national govt.' - 2:56 p.m.

    'The Pig Book said Utah governments and companies obtained $151.3 million in earmarked "pork" spending in appropriations bills. That comes out to $54.34 per person in Utah, which ranked No. 13 in the nation, and was double the national average of $27.36 per person.' - article

    Madden, you cannot tell me national goverment is part of the problem when Utah got $151 million dollars in federal money.
    That is DOUBLE what any other person in the country paid!
    Utah is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem.

  • cval1
    April 14, 2010 3:16 p.m.

    Hate to take an unpopular position, but earmarks are not the evil we think they are.

    Earmarks dictate where money that has already been appropriated can be spent. It doesn't add new expenditures. In the end it is actually a good thing because it kind of guarantees that money will be spent where it is most needed, taking some of the potential for abuse out of the system.

    It is a popular thing to attack right now because pretty much everyone does it, making it an easy target for negative campaigning against incumbents.

    Chaffetz, in his Zeal to look like a hero to conservatives is actually hurting the State and the Republican Party by barking up a popular tree and misrepresenting this practice to the public.

    Bennett is not as wrong as his opponents would have you believe but again, it is an easy target for a negative campaign because the public doesn't really understand it.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
    April 14, 2010 3:09 p.m.

    If they are going to take the pork, they should at least stop complaining about federal spending, they are part of the problem.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    April 14, 2010 3:09 p.m.

    Shame on YOU Bob Bennett - your fired - $14,038,041 for 12 projects by Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Robert Bennett (R-Utah), including: $5,560,800 for the Agricultural Research Center in Logan; $2,616,555 for a Utah conservation initiative; $1,191,600 for function genomics research; $559,059 for high performance computing; and $186,684 for pasture and forage research. $3,260,019 for four projects by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas): $1,709,946 for sorghum research and $1,550,073 for the Plant Stress and Water Conservation Lab. etc.

  • Madden
    April 14, 2010 2:56 p.m.

    The biggest problem is the double standard - many of us don't want to see the pork brought home, but if you bring none, the Federal Govt still robs us of our property through taxes.

    Huge headache - no good solution except for minimizing national govt. As long as they keep stealing through taxes, we have to find ways to steal it back. It sickens me.

    Let the states handle spending - if you want big social programs and larger unemployment benefits, etc. then move to a state that supports it. If you want high-risk, high-reward capitalism, move to a state going that route.

  • Monsieur le prof
    April 14, 2010 2:56 p.m.

    I've seen some pork barrel spending before and thought they were ridiculous, but looking at the projects listed, I didn't see that many that looked like they wouldn't be useful.

    If Utah doesn't spend the allotted money, it doesn't go back to the people, it just goes to someone else and nothing really is gained except some kind of moral victory that may harm some people's jobs.

  • Dave from Taylorsville
    April 14, 2010 2:50 p.m.

    I say, until they get rid of earmarks, let's get our "fair share."

    And remember, this was our congressional team, not the state legislature. It's a bit mind boggling as to how an article pointing to FEDERAL earmarking and pork barrel money is blamed on our state legislature.

    It's just too bad we couldn't correlate between the pork money and the state budget deficit. Seeing is some of that funding can offset our state money woes.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
    April 14, 2010 2:07 p.m.

    Republicans say they are for less government but as you can see they are for MORE government spending.

  • Pagan
    April 14, 2010 1:47 p.m.

    'Yet current events such as Garn and Killpatrick, and many others seem to show how naive people really are for electing and supporting them because of their so called "family values".' - 1:14 p.m.

    Naruto, let's not forget, Utah got 2.3 billion dollars of the stimulus. You know, the one they petitioned against.
    I think Bennet asked for stimulus money...8 times!

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    April 14, 2010 1:44 p.m.

    Now we know why America has no monies left for the unemployed after seeing the Red State of Utah ranks No. 13 when it comes to receiving federal pork-barrel spending, according to the annual "Pig Book" so I say OINKERS AWAY with 'em. Oh I am sure The Tea Party started up much like Pirate Radio did, inspired by true events to. By not re-electing Congress in 2010, we can show them a big message, through cutting off their BIG testicular duties we no longer need nor want any more, dry them, grind them up and send them back to them in a pepper shaker to re-sprinkle it back on the hogwash they been feeding us Americans long enough. A measure restoring jobless benefits of up to 99 weeks for people struggling to find work after months of unemployment has hit a snag in the Senate. Despite winning the Republican vote they needed, Democrats fell just short of the 60 votes necessary to defeat a GOP challenge to the jobless benefits measure. Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy was absent to attend the funeral of a close friend. Republicans were seeking to force Congress again hey?.

  • Naruto
    April 14, 2010 1:14 p.m.

    Looks like Utah has some 'Splainin' to do. Utah loves to gripe about federal governments big spending and how things need to change, but we're really just hypocrits if we can't even keep our state government in line, where's all the outrage? I guess as long as the people in office are LDS, then they are trusted to do "the right thing" Yet current events such as Garn and Killpatrick, and many others seem to show how naive people really are for electing and supporting them because of their so called "family values"

  • davidjay
    April 14, 2010 12:49 p.m.

    "There is too much federal land in Utah!" Oh, wait a minute, why not buy some more land and make a National Forest bigger!

    It would make me laugh if it wasn't so sad. 10 to 1 Mr. Bishop and Mr. Bennett will come out and tell us how these expenditures are a good thing. After all this money had absolutely no effect on the national deficit which is evil and all President Obama's fault. Of course.

  • Screwdriver
    April 14, 2010 12:47 p.m.

    Tisk, Tisk, Tisk... $500,000 for a culinary reserve in Draper? uhhhhuh. That's a lot of dough for some food. I'm hope nobody is going hungry - that better be a fancy name for a food bank.

    And what, 3 million for research into alternative energy - only only by computer simulation? So the weather and solar charts allready available arn't good enough. What is somebody playing that SIMs game and putting up windmills in the virtuall world?

    That pork has a fishy smell to it.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder
    April 14, 2010 12:21 p.m.

    Why would Utah & GOP C. W. (Bill) Young want us to forget about Christopher Cox?. Mr. Cox was brought in by President Bush at a time when Republicans were mad that the previous chairman, William H. Donaldson, was voting with the Democrats on contentious issues. His mandate was to restore unity, and at first he seemed an ideal choice, stock broker misconduct attorney, stockbroker ratings, bad stock broker, stock broker misconduct, retirement investment fraud, variable annuity fraud, stock broker attorney. Cox, a former Republican congressman from Orange County, Calif., gave up his seat in Congress for the top job at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He has long been defined as a pro-business lawmaker, a smart lawyer and one who knows how to navigate complicated business and tax policy. Cox counted lawyers and law firms among his biggest campaign contributors over the course of his congressional career. Real estate firms and securities and investment companies also heavily donated to Cox's campaigns. His old law firm, Latham & Watkins, was by far Cox's biggest contributor, followed by Fluor Corp. and the American Medical Association. NOW Michael S. Steele, RNC Chairman says Let's audit the Obama Democrats?.

  • LDS Liberal
    April 14, 2010 11:49 a.m.

    Utah No. 13 in federal pork-barrel spending
    By Lee Davidson

    Thanks Lee, good article.
    I was quite frankly surprised Utah didn't rank higher but will way, way up above average.
    And being the self proclaimed role model of conservatism - Utah SHOULD have been number 50.

    And Thanks for once again pointing out the Conservative HYPOCRACY that exisits here in Pleastville.

    April 14, 2010 11:48 a.m.

    Looks like Bennett and Bishop are doing their job.
    Until things are changed for everyone our reps need to be getting all the money for our state they can.
    What use will a new senator do for our state?
    To prove some kind of a point that we are the most conservative?
    Are those who are pushing for a new state senator going to personally make up the money we will lose?
    Are they going to hire all the people who will lose jobs without the federal funding?
    Its real easy to be ultra conservative when you have money.

  • Pagan
    April 14, 2010 11:45 a.m.

    If (and I'm not saying it is so) Utah legislature is SO against federal 'meddling' in their lives, why be first in line for federal money?
    If Utah legislature was SO moral, wouldn't they stand behind what they advocate?
    Working to be '50 out of 50', or dead last in federal spending would support this. Not being 13 out of 50.
    The typical hypocrisy of Utah becomes clear when they want to SPEND the federal money but not do what the federal government ask’s.
    And for those who claim 'well, the money was coming anyway.'
    My response would be 'It wouldn't if Utah was TRULY against goverment spending.'

    Do what I say, not what I do.