Friday, June 09, 2006

Alaska, the pork state

Tell Sen. Stevens what you think of his pork spending by clicking here.

When politicians talk about fixing the debt one of the first things they mention is cutting wasteful spending. Wasteful spending is a serious problem. In fact, according to Sen. Tom Coburn R-OK the government wastes $200 billion a year. Cutting this spending would be a logical and easy first step in reducing the deficit.

Unfortunately there are powerful members of Congress who will do anything to get money into their district, no matter how frivolous.

One of the most powerful of these members is the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Sen. Ted Stevens R-AK. You may remember Sen. Steven for his $250 million bridge to nowhere that was to link would link a small Alaskan town with a pop. of 8,900 to a small island of a pop. of 50. For that much money the federal government could have purchased a 100' yacht for each resident of the small island to ferry them to the mainland so that the already effective ferry service would no longer have to work!

Sen. Tom Coburn R-OK attempted to divert the money to fund the rebuilding of roads damaged by Katrina but, Stevens threw a fit and offered his resignation "if the senate decides to discriminate against our state and take money only from our state." unfortunately, the Senate voted not to take up the Senator's offer 82 to 15.

Despite Sen. Steven's rhetoric, no one is discriminating against Alaska. For every tax dollar Alaskans pay to the government in Washington they $1.89, and because Alaska pays it citizens surplus money, this funding goes directly into the pockets of Alaskans. The state also ranks first in per capita federal spending, the government spends $12,279 in Alaska for every resident of the state. It appears that Sen. Stevens enjoys taking your tax money and racking up the debt to line the pockets of his constituents.

Some of Sen. Stevens (who coincidently chairs the appropriations committee) previous projects have included:

$2 million for the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage

$1.4 million to replace a working dog kennel at a military base

$225,000 for the Beluga Whaling committee

$447,000 for halibut data collection

$249 million for the now infamous Bridge to Nowhere

$200,000 to the city of North Pole for "“recreational improvements"

You can thank Sen. Stevens in part for both the national debt and your tax bill, unless of course you live in Alaska. It is estimated that Alaska recieves $808 worth of pork for every resident!

"No state has gone through this….I urge my friend from Oklahoma to reconsider this, reconsider what he is getting us into. The amendment may pass, but if it does the bill will never be passed. If it does, I will be taken out of here on a stretcher."
Senator Stevens reacting to Sen. Tom Coburn's requested ammendment to to scrap Sen. Steven's $250 million Bridge to Nowhere.

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