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New Pig Book says Hillary Clinton's tops in pork spending, Barack Obama's 2nd, but John McCain had none!

The nonpartisan taxpayer watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste is out with its newest Pig Book, an overwhelming detailing of all 11,610 pork barrel projects inserted in the current fiscal year's appropriations bills by individual members of Congress.

These semi-secret spending measures cost taxpayers New York Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the phone no doubt arranging another legislative earmark that makes her the biggest pork barrel spender of the remaining White House candidates, according to the newly released Pig Bookan extra $17.2 billion this fiscal year alone. This is the first year legislators have had to attach their names to these measures.

That's B for billion dollar$. In extra spending. That typically didn't go through the usual legislative committee screening. A huge increase over the previous year.

And guess which one of the surviving presidential candidates likes pork the most? And the least?

According to the Pig Book ("The Book Washington Does Not Want You to Read"), New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is our new grand national oinker among presidential contenders for most pork barrel spending. She inserted a whopping 281 individual spending projects into bills for the benefit of New York interests at the cost of taxpayers everywhere.

That totals $296.2 million.

The new national hero, on the other hand, for not inserting one penny of pork barrel spending is the Republican Party's presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. As a longtime staunch opponent of such earmarks, McCain may be expected to raise the subject of such special spending if Clinton becomes his Democratic opponent in the fall's general election.

He may also bring it up if his opponent is Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who may be a freshman senator but still isn't shy about inserting special earmarks into legislation cataloged by the taxpayer group's annual report. He accounted for 53 special earmarks, totaling almost $97.4 million.

This includes about $402,000 for a juvenile delinquency program at the Shedd Aquarium and $383,000 for another ethanol research plant.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who still technically is in the GOP race, has campaigned against large government seeping into the lives of American citizens. However, according to the Pig Book, that didn't keep him from proposing eight pork-spending bills totaling $22 million, including nearly $4 million to alter a Galveston bridge.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo: Baltimore Sun

 
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I humbly disagree with the assertion that Barack Obama's spending was considered "pork". Spending money on juvenile delinquency and ethanol research isn't just NOT pork, they actually seem like worthwhile ideas.

McCain's hundred years war costs us to the tune of $10 billion. That's not just pork, that's the whole pig roasted on a stick.

No surprise here, well done McCain ! One of these people will realise all in all we are much better of with a Republican government, time and time again we are shown this is the right way forward ! Go McCain even though you are a tad too liberal not nearly as ratbad as the other two !

Senator Clinton's spending doesn't suprise me. What else is hidden in her Tax returns?????

Tom
Concord, Illinois

Keep up the good work!!!

It's misleading to say that Clinton was 1st and Obama second. Both were way down in the pack compared to other Senators. Good for McCain, though he authorized the biggest pork barrel project--the Iraq War.

Is anyone terribly surprised that Hillary was at the top of these three in pork spending?

And this surprises... anyone?

With all the "accidents" the friends, supporters, officials, etc... experienced who surrounded the Clintons during the 90's, would Obama really want to risk having Hillary as his vice presidential choice?

I live in Pittsburgh and was fortunate to attend Sen. Clinton's Jobs Summit this morning. She was incredible and her intelligence and practical solutions about economic issues profound. She did not give a canned speech but spoke from years and years of experience and from the heart - often responding to impromptu questions from panelist and audience members (who clearly were NOT staged). My prediction - she's going to run circles around Obama at the upcoming PA debate about issues of our economy - maybe then the media will give her the credit and attention she deserves for her years of experience, innovative ideas, and willingness to listen and take action to bring our country out of this economic stupor. Obama's and Clinton's ads are all over our TV sets - and a stark difference is that Obama's ads talk about "hope", "change" and his diverse upbringing. Clinton's talks about REAL issues, her ideas, her experience and highlight her supporters who also have years of experience. The ads are so lop-sided its almost funny. I just hope the great people of PA, IN, NC and the other 7 states are smart enough to see through Obama's rhetoric. Inspiring speeches about hope, change, and diversity aren't going to mean anything come 2009...and if Obama's the one sitting in the oval office, our country will be sorely disappointed. I respect him but his experience and ability to be President pail in comparison to Sen. Clinton's.

In contrast to many other states, New York gives far more money to the Federal government than it gets back, so if our Senator is balancing things out a bit, that's only fair.

what about the greatest pork barrel of all, the trillions wasted in desastrous private wars, the billions that sponsored treasonous actions of irresponsible, deluded elites? and hundreds of thousands of people killed and maimed and suffering. but hardly surprising, the blinded will not see who is blinding them.

Pork barrel spending is nothing less than theft of the taxpayers' money. 99% of it is a total waste: bridges to nowhere, and junk science studies to determine how many fruit flies can dance on the head of a pin. IT HAS TO STOP!!!

What a nice Republican't spin on things.
McCain supports no pork barrel spending?!?!
He can't seem to get enough of Iraq! He loves it soooo much he's alreadfy talking about another 100 years of our kids dying over there so that BIG OIL can make even more money.
The War for OIL is a bigger concern to our country than PORK barrel spending.
At least with the issue of POrk Barrel Spending, the money stays in our own country where it came from and isn't wasted in another country to ensure the future deaths of many and the additional wealth to the few well connected soulless OIL crownies that feed our current Administration.
The War is about the OIL LAW not 9-11.
If it was about 9-11- we'de be killing Saudis not Iraqis. BUt everyone bought the BUSH LIES hook line and sinker. Let's not elect another fool who can't admit when he's wrong...
Alot of American cities could use some of the pork barrel funds that have been spent on the mistake that is Iraq.

Earmarks aren't the only thing that book discusses. They actually have a much different list of pig spenders which does NOT have any presidential candidate in the top 10.

Like many things, earmarks have a legitimate use, but also a potential for abuse, so it's important to see how legitimate the projects funded are.

Anyhow, if you want to look at only earmarks, my recollection is that Hillary is in the top 10 in the Senate (which is unusual for someone not on the Appropriations Committee), Obama is in the bottom third, and McCain is either last or tied for it.

Unfortunately, there are other ways to spend public money, so that may still be misleading.

It does make for a better headline, though.

Misleading headline!
Reads as though Obama is the second highest in the senate! Is this accidental?

Your article is misleading in many ways. It shows partisanship by intentionally sensationalizing the spending of the whole list and making it appear to the casual reader that all 17.2 billion dollars is because of Clinton and Obama. Try being more upfront, like saying Hillary Clinton and barack Obama weren't even on the front page of names mentioned in spending order. The top two spenders were 1 Democrat and one Republic. Below is the REAL full article you cited incorrectly.

http://www.cagw.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=11276

I disagree with the message of this blog post.

$402,000 for a juvenile delinquency program at the Shedd Aquarium and $383,000 for another ethanol research plant? Sounds to me like somebody cares about the youth, and cares about the long term environmental and economic consequences of fossil fuel dependence. Well done Barack Obama!

McCain, although portrayed here as a person who dos not indulge in wasteful spending, happens to be one of the senators who voted for the Iraq war, which has cost taxpayers how many billions of dollars? I have lost count.

So, let's not lose perspective here and obfuscate the situation by applying terms like "pork barrel spending" to one presidential candidate who has tried to improve communities and the environment; while the other has tried to improve the profit margins of oil companies, of which his republican cronies own stock.

The fact that McCain hasn't done any special spending, if anything, shows just how much he doesn't care about improving life for ordinary people in America!

I don't think it's in your interest to play the pork card - you don't want to go there - McCain, you will see, takes the whole pigpen.

This would be really interesting if not for the fact that the supposed "Non-Partisan" group is nothing of the sort. It's a group started by Peter Grace, a staunch Republican.

He's also famous for gross negligence resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people from asbestosis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libby,_Montana#Economy

He chaired the Grace Commission for Ronald Reagan.

To cite him as some sort of neutral public do-gooder is rank dishonesty.

Here's more:

http://www.oreillynet.com/xml/blog/2005/09/you_know_citizens_against_gove.html

This needs to be normalized to the population of the respective states before it can mean anything. NY is among the largest and has more complex urban needs than say, midwestern states.

John McCain has set up an outstanding straw man argument to fool people into believing he is some sort of amazing fiscal conservative. Underlying part of the definition of so-called pork barrel spending suggests that the executive branch should influence spending of the federal budget. Forbidding representatives from requesting funding for those that they represent merely gives more authority to the executive branch.

I would hardly ever fault a representative for requesting finances on behalf of their district. Undoubtedly, the people in their district would like to request funding for their projects, and it's the representative's role to speak on their behalf (that is, to represent them).

I'd be interested if that book notes how many earmarked bills each candidate had voted for. I'd argue that the amount a candidate is willing to spend as a budgeter is more representative of their conservatism than their willingness to request finances on behalf of the taxpayers they represent.

Of course, that's suggesting that earmarks are the biggest source of bloat in our budget today. That's obviously not true, considering the Iraq War shows us spending over $500 billion (that's B for billion dollar$) overseas. That bloated budget hog, which John McCain unabashedly supports, makes requests (much less approved requests) seem like pennies in comparison.

Though $17 billion would certainly be nice to have in my bank account, when viewed as a portion of the total federal budget, about $3 trillion) is is a tiny portion (about 1/2 %. Even if we eliminated all such spending it would make no noticable impact on the national debt or budget. In addition these so called pork bills are not givaways to friends or campaign contributors. Earmarks are generally legitimate spending that was not put into a separate bill, or may have been attached to an unrelated bill. I think the tone this writer uses may make people think that earmarks are simply giving away money.

In addition Arizona (McCains state) tends to get much more money back from the Federal government then it pays in taxes, while most of the larger states tend to pay much more in taxes then is spent by the federal governement in those states.

I think earmarks are a bad idea, but that doesn't mean that the money allocated to them is wasted, nor does it necessarilly indicated any wrongdoing on the part of the politician who requested it.

If all earmarks were eliminated we would not necessarily save a single penny in the federal budget. Because earmarks are funded from spending levels that have been determined before a single earmark is agreed to, with or without earmarks the spending levels remain the same. Eliminating earmarks designated by Members of Congress would simply transfer the funding decision process to federal bureaucrats rather then elected representatives.

What the point here? If it's that McCain is somehow going to cost the taxpayers less money if elected, I direct you to your previous article, which notes that the war in Iraq is costing the USA somewhere around $11 billion (that's billion, with a "B") a DAY. Since McCain wants to keep the US in Iraq for the next hundred yeas, and there are 365 days per year, let's see... Gee, how much does that come out to, anyway?

Whoa. Something good about McCain? I'm shocked.

I really wish these figures were listed on a per-taxpayer basis, both state-wise and national-wise. Wouldn't most people pay $1 a year for a good program for kids? Or a nickel for a program for, let's say, homeless dogs? These numbers are mostly peanuts per taxpayer. It also puts really big numbers such as $1 trillion into a concept we can get a better handle on. And that ain't peanuts.

Yeah, McCain doesn't believe in pork, he just believes in pure military spending. He wants to increase it, even though our military budget is already larger than the next 168 countries combined (yes, you read that correctly; look it up on Wikipedia).

And, just so you're aware, Iraq isn't even in the normal budget. It's hidden as an "extra-budgetary supplement." $2.7 billion a week, or approximately $9 per week for every man, woman, and child in the United States, for a highly questionable war.

Whoa. 18 million a year!? Do we know what they buy? Maybe it subsidizes silly things like port security, eh? Or preventing another 9-11, since the Republicans made sure that the Homeland security money went equally to NY and Ida-friggin-ho, per capita.

Yeah. That's almost ONE MONTH in IRAQ. You know, the enless war where McCain NEVER wants to leave until the entire country is bankrupt and we've wasted every willing soldier, destroyed the Guard and are down to sending girl scouts to die while he walks around in the Iraqi markets proclaiming success.

Get it into perspective, people. NOTHING burns gas, wastes resources and can topple a country faster than an ongoing failed war where the people have no idea who they're even fighting and all the while those billions wasted go to Republican crony companies. See lovely Dubai? Who do you think their business partners are with trillions to blow on things like ski resorts in the desert and those neat little islands made of American blood money? Same place where you can buy any American made weapon to later use against our own kids.

I'm a proud American. There just are not many Americans I am proud of anymore.

Let us not forget McCain was one of Charles Keating's (Busted Lincoln Savings & Loan) FAVORITE SENATORS, along with fellow 'sky pilot' from Ohio, John Glenn. Yes, Glenn is out, but McCain KNOWS he came within a hair's breath of getting 'quietly asked not to run for another term.' from his Senate Ethics cohorts. Yes, he was THAT close. Hellary doesn't care! New York gets FAR, FAR, FAR TOO MUCH PORK -- Imagine the taxpayer BAIL OUT when Queen Hellary gets crowned!!! How much PREMIUM office space is the Government taking in the NEW Freedom Tower? I heard about 30%!!!!!!!!!

Citizens Against Government Waste is hardly nonpartisan. It is a right-wing corporate front group with extensive funding from the tobacco and oil industries.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Citizens_Against_Government_Waste

It's important to note that the top overall pork barrel spenders were Republicans. Your headline makes it sound like Hillary is the #1 pork spender, not just the #1 pork spender among presidential candidates.

#1 Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. $892 million
#2 Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska $469 million
#3 Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. $465 million.
#13 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. $296 million
#69 Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. $97 million

Hillary and Obama lead the list? Well out of a list of three.
Here's what the Hillary loving FoxNews says about the report:
"According to the book, the top three lawmakers slipping pet projects into bills are all Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee — Sens. Thad Cochran of Mississippi with $892 million; Ted Stevens of Alaska with $469 million and Richard Shelby of Alabama with $465 million."

17 billion for domestic programs?

Big deal.

That's under 2 months of Iraq War spending.

Did you guys even read the the report? Clinton is 12th, not even the tops in NY State (Schumer is just ahead of her). Tops is Thad Cochran at over $800 billion. Sad thing is, you excuses for investigative bloggers know that most of the sheeple will regurgitate your trash and not bother to look for themselves. Pathetic.

The title here is very misleading. Clinton and Obama are first and second out of the small subset of four candidates this article mentions, which is very different from being first and second overall. Clinton's $296 million in earmarked funds ranks her 13th among 100 senators. Obama ranked 69th. That bears repeating - 69th, not 2nd, meaning he had less than the vast majority (68) of U.S. senators. And frankly, I have no problem with him adding spending on things like ethanol research. If it reduces our dependency on oil (which is in the national interest on economic, foreign policy, and environmental grounds) that's a pretty good use of my tax dollars.

Interesting article... I mean, we expected the "LIBERALS", clinton and osama to slide in "hidden" ear marks into legislation. It comes to no surprise.

Just remember that all those BILLIONS of dollars could have been in tax breaks for us working americans..

Seems the only person who is worthy of noting, is John Mccain, He has sincerely condemed this "PORK BARREL SPENDING" for as long as I can remember and the only "CREDIBLE" candidate. Kudos JOHN!


Hi:
I reviewed the 2008 Pig Book Summary and Senator Cochran of Mississppi is listed as tops in spending at $892.2
tp://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports_pigbook2008

Thanks.

OBAMA: DIRTY POLITICIAN FROM THE START: Chicago Sun-Times—A close examination of Obama’s first campaign clouds the image he has cultivated throughout his political career: Obama, who runs on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless, first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it. Alice Palmer, friend and mentor to Obama, served the district in the Illinois Senate for much of the 1990s. Decades earlier, she was a community organizer in the area when Obama was growing up in Hawaii. She risked her safe seat to run for Congress and touted Obama as a suitable successor. But when Palmer lost the congressional race, her supporters asked Obama to fold his campaign so she could easily retain her state Senate seat. Obama not only refused to step aside for the woman who was his friend and had recommended him for the seat, he filed challenges that nullified Palmer’s hastily gathered nominating petitions, forcing her to withdraw. Had Palmer survived the petition challenge, Obama would have faced the daunting task of taking on an incumbent senator. “He wondered if we should knock everybody off the ballot. How would that look?” said Ronald Davis, the paid Obama campaign consultant whom Obama referred to as his “guru of petitions.” Davis filed objections to all four of Obama’s Democratic rivals at the candidate’s behest. All other candidates were disposed of by Obama’s challenges. He then went on to win the election.

http://tinyurl.com/2zwwte

Any article on pork generates headlines but if you look at it in terms of the increase in our debt under Bush and the subsequent interest on that debt one will find the truth in regard to the total outlay of cash. I sincerely wish that pork was our only problem but if we cut out 100% of extraneous spending (how's that for a euphemism?) of earmarks it would hardly make a dent in our budget. The war in Iraq will cost well north of $3 trillion when its all said and done. Talk about pork. And what about the medicare bill that Bush passed, the largest entitlement bill in 40 years? You'll also find that legislators from urban areas tend to generate more pork. Why? Simple. More things to spend it on but good folks like republican senator Ted Stevens more than take up the slack. Finally, I highly doubt that McCain totaled "0" earmarks. Perhaps this year but has this always been the case? Once again I doubt it. Kudos to the editor who managed to find a picture of Hillary in a pink sweater. She's a Razorback y'all.

Beltway Greg

those corrupt politicians who name appeared in pig book need to have their name engraved in gold or platinum plate and permanently displayed in main street. They might be good for their state's special interest group(these are not for people, it's for few of those who has connection) but we all are paying for it. Wake up America!!!

Ron Paul proposes the earmarks because that's what his district wants, and then holds to his stances by voting against his own earmarks. That last bit is fairly misleading about that, as it's pertinent information.

Is it still called pork if it's for an endless war costing us $2 billion PER WEEK? (that's $4,000 per second)

Just askin'

John McCain had none? Doesn't the $2 billion per week war count as pork? That's his 100-year++ baby. And we're not even out of year 6 yet!

OBAMA: DIRTY POLITICIAN FROM THE START: Chicago Sun-Times—A close examination of Obama’s first campaign clouds the image he has cultivated throughout his political career: Obama, who runs on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless, first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it. Alice Palmer, friend and mentor to Obama, served the district in the Illinois Senate for much of the 1990s. Decades earlier, she was a community organizer in the area when Obama was growing up in Hawaii. She risked her safe seat to run for Congress and touted Obama as a suitable successor. But when Palmer lost the congressional race, her supporters asked Obama to fold his campaign so she could easily retain her state Senate seat. Obama not only refused to step aside for the woman who was his friend and had recommended him for the seat, he filed challenges that nullified Palmer’s hastily gathered nominating petitions, forcing her to withdraw. Had Palmer survived the petition challenge, Obama would have faced the daunting task of taking on an incumbent senator. “He wondered if we should knock everybody off the ballot. How would that look?” said Ronald Davis, the paid Obama campaign consultant whom Obama referred to as his “guru of petitions.” Davis filed objections to all four of Obama’s Democratic rivals at the candidate’s behest. All other candidates were disposed of by Obama’s challenges. He then went on to win the election.

http://tinyurl.com/2zwwte

I don't think I can support a blog - or a book they brag about - that says "John McCain had no pork barrel spending". What a whopper!!

This article refers to the main reason that Senator McCain will have support across part lines - cutting and controlling the cost of the federal government.

How can any reasonable person believe that a government can tax you more and help you more at the same time? This is what I would like Senator McCain's opponents to answer.

God Bless America

Headline: "Hillary Clinton's tops in pork spending". False. Of the 3 remaining presidential candidates she is, but that's not worth mentioning in the title it seems. She's about the last Dem I'd have voted for, but let's be honest; a senator who represents 20 million residents and millions more workers might have a wee bit more requests than say, one from Louisiana, 25th in population at 4.2 million, or ANY House member. Perspective, honesty, and clarity would make for better journalism.

As noted in a previous post, Ron Paul has not voted for a single pork-barrel bill. He puts in pork for his district so that they have a chance of getting back some of what they send to Washington.

Andrew, how about some data on who votes FOR the pork barrel bills?

The failing economy and wasteful earmarks and all of the other aggravations are symptoms of are broken government. The candidates need to step back and acknowledge that the original plan of our founding fathers has been bastardized by the Congress of past and present as well as many presidential administrations. The greed is embarrassing.

The candidates need to address the greater problem. Our government is a wasteful, bloated entity with little concern for the humanitarian consequences of it's actions. The government that was founded to be by the people, for the people is now by a few rich people, for a few rich people. The pork is just a way a few rich people buy votes without spending their own money.

OBAMA LIES IN PENNSYLVANIA AD
From NBC/NJ’s Aswini Anburajan
GREENBURG, Pa. -- The Clinton campaign today accused the Obama campaign of "false advertising," claiming that a recent ad Obama released in Pennsylvania was disngenous because Obama has been the recipient of more than $200,000 from the oil and gas industry.
In the ad, Obama says, "I'm Barack Obama, and I don't take money from oil companies or lobbyists, and I won't let them block change any more."
Obama has taken $213,884 from the oil and gas industry as of Feb. 29th, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Sen. Hillary Clinton has taken $306,813 in that same period.
Two of Obama's campaign bundlers are also CEOs for oil and gas companies, per a list released on his campaign Web site.
Robert Cavnar, listed as a bundler who has raised between $50,000 to $100,000 for the campaign, is the chairman and CEO of Mission Resources Corp., a Houston-based firm. George Kaiser, also listed in the same $50,000 to $100,000 category, is the CEO of Tulsa-based Kaiser-Francis Oil Company.
"It's unfortunate that Senator Obama is using false advertising to explain why he can be trusted to do something about energy prices," Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said. "Senator Obama says he doesn't take campaign contributions from oil companies but the reality is that Exxon, Shell, and others are among his donors."

$200-odd million? That's a couple thousand times less, and more, than the HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of pork belly spending that has been going on Iraq that's being fed back to big business interests; a Republican war for Republican profit at the cost of citizens' lives.
Go Barack and Hilary. Take money off these thieves any way you can!

 
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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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