January 22nd, 2008
06:21 PM ET

Pork spending, will it ever end?


Capitol Hill at night. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It just ain't Washington without the pork.

The New York Times reports that President Bush is unlikely to defy Congress on spending billions of dollars earmarked for pet projects. However, administration officials say he will probably insist that in the future, lawmakers give more justification for such spending.

A group of fiscal conservatives in Congress, along with budget watchdog groups, have been trying to get the president to clamp down on earmarks. They want him to issue an executive order that would instruct agencies to disregard earmarks not listed in the text of the legislation. Get this: more than 90% of earmarks are not actually included in the bills, but in committee reports.

Mr. Bush said in last year's State of the Union address: "The time has come to end this practice." Guess that time hasn't come quite yet.

Despite those calling for tougher rules when it comes to earmarks, there are more lawmakers who are trying to score such pet projects and brag about bringing home the bacon to their constituents.

The White House Office of Management and Budget shows that the 2008 spending bills signed by the president include more than 11,700 earmarks, totaling almost $17 billion.

Some of the pet projects this year include: museums, bicycle trails, control of agricultural pests, and aid to military contractors who are making things like "merino wool boot socks." The military contractors in this country definitely are a hardship case. Poor things.

Here’s my question to you: What will it take to get rid of pork spending by Congress?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Arthur from South Carolina writes:

That's simple. When people stop running for re-election they will be able to concentrate on their job and not on getting back 2 or 6 years later. Re-elect no one. No second terms. Period. Keep pandering out with term limits.

Bruce writes:
Jack, Never, unless a president uses the line item veto. Then pork spending by Congress will go away until they find another way to spend it.

Jarrod writes:
We can only blame members of Congress for this earmark problem for so long. After their term is up, it’s our responsibility to review their actions, decide if they are still working in our best interest and if not boot them out. The American people need to step up and choose better leaders. Jack, one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This is a great example of what’s happening when we reelect members of Congress.

Forrest from Montana writes:
Better to spend the money here in the States than for Halliburton in Iraq. For the most part, pork has done a lot of good towards the improvement of Americans’ lives.

Robert writes:
Oh, it'll end when we dissolve Congress and force them to go back to their home states to get real jobs.

Clark from Spokane, Washington writes:
Sure, Jack, we'll get rid of earmarks, like we are going to get rid of K Street.

Eric writes:
Jack, it will take the end of the world as we know it. Armageddon must occur. Fire and brimstone must fall from the heavens raining down on politicians who look at serving in Washington as a source of income.

Steve writes:
Only way we can get rid of pork-spending is by getting rid of all the "butchers" of the economy. Choose better leaders.

Filed under: Congressional Spending
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Rick

    I don't see any change in sight. Candidates like John McCain may claim to stop this spending, but keep in mind that President Bush also ran on a humble foreign policy with no nation-building... once elected, these promises disappear fast.

    January 22, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  2. Scott

    not until all the pigs in Washington become extinct.
    scott missouri

    January 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Ed Reed

    First, there must be public financing of elections. Congressmen return favors for campaign contributions by including earmarks in appropriation bills. Second, all of us must stop asking our representatives to obtain federal funding for local pork projects. It takes a courageous Congressmen to tell his constituents no and, unfortunately, there aren't enough courageous Congressmen.

    January 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  4. Richard Sternagel

    Jack, Pork spending will end when cows being to fly!

    January 22, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  5. MARY,

    Hi Jack,
    Maybe if we start with a whole new congress and senate, along with the new president, things will change. I think anyone should not be in ANY of those offices,
    more than 8 yrs. Some new blood should be aloud to take over, and get this country
    back on track. And it sure isn't going to be Hillary or Maccain, This country is feed up with the corrupt Bush, Clinton, Bush administration. Maybe that will take care of the Pork Spending. Thanks Jack, Keep up the Good Work. Your # 1 in this house hold.

    New Richmond ,wisc

    January 22, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  6. D Moore

    In medicine when someone’s blood is too poisoned for the body to cleanse itself, doctors will take the drastic step of replacing every last drop of blood with new. That’s what it will take with this pack of selfish political pigs.

    January 22, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  7. Jim Jensen

    I sincerely think that the only way to get rid of pork spending by Congress is to get rid of Congress. Pork spending is one way congressmen/women pay back those who got them into office in the first place [and I don't mean the voters] and the way they keep themselves in favor with their constituency. There is no way, how well intended they may be, any candidate running for office today can get rid of pork, should they be elected to office. They only way they could do that would be to have a Presidential line item veto and Congress is who would have to give it to him/her. What's the chance of that happening?

    January 22, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  8. Tina

    Get the dang lobbyists out of the pockets of the congressional people and when our Higher Power calls us home then the pork spending will stop. Until then we are sunk.

    January 22, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  9. Rich , McKinney Texas

    I don't think that will ever happen unless we have a line item Veto on each and everything congress votes on. Each congressman wants something from the other and they will do what ever it takes to get it. Each wants to bring home the bacon (no pun intended) for their state or special interest. A line item Veto would stop this immediately.
    All but seven US states have some form of line-item veto. Those states without the line-item veto are Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

    January 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  10. Terry

    I would like to think that being in a recession would eliminate all the PORK spending. However the present congress I am sure will support another bridge to nowhere or a peanut warehouse, and Hillary will get some funding for the Woodstock Museum.

    January 22, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  11. Len Albuq New Mexico

    At this stage of the game, any and all pork barrel spending should be cut off. There are too many other things that are much more important and should take priority over States pet projects. Social Security, Medicare, Education, and paying off our National debt should take prescidence over these hidden ear marks. If a Congressman feels that it is crucial or a matter of urgency that his or her State get appropriated funds, full disclosure and transparency should be required and it should be put to a vote in the House and Senate before it is approved. The only sure fired way is to make Washington fiscally accountable and responsible to balance the budget.

    January 22, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  12. Joe in DE

    One man's pork is another man's bacon. Bills would have to b limited to one issue (item) and this would probably quadruple the number of Bills submitted.

    January 22, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  13. Stan

    To get rid of the pork you have to take the profit incentive out of politics. Get rid of the money. Publicly financed elections are the only way to go. Money is not "speech" it is property and should therefore not be protected as speech. To give money to a politician to see an issue your way is bribery. Again, publicly financed elections are the answer. You get rid of the money and the problems will resolve themselves quickly.

    January 22, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  14. Ralph

    Jack, some might feel the removal of all the lobbyists would do the trick, but it doesn't go far enough. Every elected official who feels our country is all right and no changes are needed and look to stuff their own pockets are candidates to go bye-bye as well.

    January 22, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  15. Brandon from British Columbia

    Well Jack if you want to stop Congress from 'pork' spending is get rid of Republicans and Democrats and put in a politician for the first time. We have members from both sides all ways competing and bickering, when will people learn that a country can't be run on a Conservative side or a Liberal side, but only be run on a 'reality' side.

    January 22, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  16. Kathy H

    Pork spending will not end until a full public disclosure of all such projects is made as each one are presented. It would cost us less to have a nationwide mail-out of the data than to pay for the pet projects of our legislators. Our population needs to be fully informed so we may revolt and get those who love to have their names on buildings and in parks voted out of office. Let's stop the insanity of spending money on projects that do not benefit the nation as a whole with our federal tax dollars.

    January 22, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  17. Paul

    Third party.

    January 22, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  18. Bert D

    Roughly speaking, we spend 500 billion a year on making war, and 500 billion a year on pork. At least we get something tangible for the latter, even if it's a bridge to nowhere. Sometime you just might feel like going there.

    January 22, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  19. vince nizzardi

    jackzilla, Congress has known for a long time, that many things they do, especially this pork spending, is dead wrong. They continue to do it, because they feal no one cares, and then they test the waters for more nonsense, that they can run down on the American people. This is evident, as we see this behavior continue to escalate out of control, in almost every issue we Americans face today . Anyway, to answer your question, for the American people to put so much pressure on our elected officials, and maintain that pressure, until there is nothing they can do, but the will of the American people. They must understand,

    January 22, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  20. Marc

    The solution is only a voting booth away. If citizens continue to make uninformed decisions when they pull that magic lever, nothing in Washington is ever going to change. People need to stop voting based on political party, familiar names, and who has the most bleech whitened teeth. If we get the career politicans out of office, things might actually start getting done. Honestly, when is the last time any politican did anything that made your life better?

    January 22, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  21. Steve Sanders

    Pork is as American as Apple Pie!

    I live in West Viginia and am thankful for Senator Robert C Byrd's pork.
    Ours is a poor state and we need the extra spending for state
    and local projects. It's just our tax dollars coming back to us.

    To congress: Keep on Porkin! We don't want a vegetarian diet in WV!

    Charles Town, WV

    January 22, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  22. Tom Bulger

    It will take leadership in the White House. Someone with a track record of leading without the use of bribery or extortion. It will take Obama's community worker skills and experience applied to the community he's building called America.

    January 22, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  23. Scott

    time for a bar-b-que,we need to fry them all in the next election.
    scott Missouri

    January 22, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  24. Alex

    The way to fix pork-barrel spending is simple: Put the current president, his vice president, and the entire Bush Administration cabinet into a barrel and see if you can sell it to anyone that's willing to take them. Now that's a lot of pork!

    January 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  25. richard

    Jack to much pork is not good for you. If I was getting gain from it I would be happy. Pork will always be around. There has to be a better way to spend our money on. richard Alabama

    January 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  26. Eugene in NorCal

    Jack, pork spending has been with our nation, since day one and voters couldn't keep up with it. Now folks like Lou Dobbs are telling us exactly who the biggest porkers are. It's time, for American voters, to take the bull by the horns and contact their elected officials. Hold their feet to the fire, on their pork projects and tell them you won't stand for it. Tell your friends. The main message her is that Americans can put the brakes pork but it takes getting involved. Our elected officials don't care about us and aren't listening.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  27. Ron from VA

    Good old fashion protesters filing the streets of DC!

    January 22, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  28. Ephraim


    People have put lipstick on pigs since the beginning of time. It's never done a bit of good, yet they keep doing it. The poor things are still pigs, but, so long as enough people want a sow's ear, the government will dip into that silk purse.

    (the "E" in Ephraim, is long, as in "meet.")

    January 22, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  29. W B in Las Vegas

    to paraphrase Shakespeare, first we shoot all the lobbyists. then we need term limits for Senators and Congressmen just like we have for the President. a lot of people will calll for a line item veto but just imagin what damage a "President" like our current one would do to the social spending that is keeping the working poor and retirees from being destitute after they have been robbed of their manufacturing jobs and pensions the last two decades.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  30. Tom Hutcheson

    Yes Jack,
    Pork spending will end when we have a PIG as President and it faces being carved up in pieces and parceled out to various factions!

    January 22, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  31. Maureen

    To get Congress to cut out the pork, it'll take another American Revolution...a voter's revolution....let's throw them all out and establish term rules.....the Congress was never supposed to be a life long career.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  32. Mark Polanis

    In the midst of "negative earnings season" of epic proportions, the leading investment banks (Merrill, Morgan Stanley, Lehman, Goldman and Bear) are reported to be planning an aggregate $39 billion in bonuses---necessary to retain the personnel who perpetrated the mortgage securities frauds and other blunders so immense and complex that they are indescribable.

    $39 billion is larger than the GDP of many countries.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  33. Beverley


    Two years ago you had a special on CNN where you told us to "throw the bums out of office regardless of their political party". I think it's time to dust that tape off and play a re-run ....

    January 22, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  34. Greg from PA

    Some call it pork. The congressmen who vote for it call it an economic stimulus package for their home district. Unless the President is given the line-item veto, these stimulus packages will continue to fund million dollar museums for Woodstock and the like.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  35. Martha K

    Ha hahahahahahahah, you're joking, right? We ARE talking about the US Government and politicians, yes? That's their bread and butter....on top of the gravy train that is their positions.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  36. bnthdntht

    First you elect your congress man or woman to represent you. So if your community needs something it their job to try to get it. I say TRY if it is not good for the country the other congressional people should stop it that's there job. All pork is not bad sometimes a community needs something worth while. Let's not let a bridge to nowhere and other wasteful things spoil a good system. If you want to do something try term limits.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  37. Karen

    The Dems grub for social welfare dollars, the Repubs grub for corporate welfare dollars. The people get 'you know what' every time. We don't need greater transparency. We know what they are doing. We want it to stop.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  38. Bill


    The only way to get rid of pork spending in Congress is to get rid of Congress. But since that will never happen, maybe we can get rid of everyone currently in Congress. That might slow down the pork spending, but it would never stop it.

    Bill, Charlotte NC

    January 22, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  39. Dennis

    Cuts in education, cuts in public services, raises in taxes and record braking corruption should all be rewarded with jail sentences in gitmo. These are all tell-tale signs of a generation that was/is bad for THE WORLD. Money is based on resources and boy oh boy are ever so good at wasting it (them). Thank goodness for excesivly wealthy drug (yes drug) companies that can keep us all alive longer, so we can waste even more. Food and water should be rationed away from the pork belliers and sent to people that really need it. That would be more humane and honest than the actions of these pompous fools. Pork spending should end on the principality that it needs to end!!!

    January 22, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  40. Ron

    What will it take to get rid of pork spending by Congress? Two words: Ron Paul.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  41. Karen P

    1. Make lobbying illegal. The politicians are supposed to be asking we the people, but funny, I never get any mail or calls from my representatives.

    2. Important legislation should be line by line without ANYTHING else attached to the bill. If our Congress can't handle this, send us the ballots and we'll do away with Senators and Representatives. Just think how much we can be involved in elections then.

    3. Politicians who push pet projects through on important legislation should be voted out in the next elections. God bless the Internet...it's easy to look up voting records. Big Brother may be watching all our actions today...but...aha! we can watch Big Brother in return...well...except for the Clinton secretive archives.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  42. earl illingsworth

    This is the easiest question you've ever asked Jack! Pork Spending will always be. The only deterrent is get rid of the butcher, and that is a relatively simple task. Term Limits,Term Limits,Term Limits ,you got it. These lifelong buffoons in congress have circumvented the constitution long enough. Out with old and in with the new ,and as Truman once said ,the buck stops here, and what I say is your all on a fat free diet . You get it!!!! Unemployment is a wonderful thing?

    January 22, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  43. Cindy

    At town meetings in the fall, Sen Arlen Specter boasted about his earmarks. He defended his "judgements" that included taking middle class dollars and redistributing them to the rich so he can get relected.

    I am voting out every incumbent who participates in pork earmarking. Unfortunately, we Pennsylvanians will have a long wait since both Casey and Specter are mid term.

    Talk about swine!

    January 22, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  44. Jane Paul

    But your pork is my ham sandwich. I wish someone could devise a set of rules that would ensure that all government spending is necessary, efficient, and beneficial to the country as a whole. Even then, money would still be spent on things I consider foolish or detrimental and not be spent on things I feel are needed and beneficial. Multiply by 300 million and you will see why there will always be pork. (or ham, depending on your point of view)

    January 22, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  45. Karen

    You just asked people who buy too much house, too much car, have garages filled with junk, have thousands of dollars in debt and can't manage their bank accounts whether they thought govt would control spending. Oh, the irony.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  46. Brian Davis, Delray Beach, FL

    Its pretty clear to most americans that it wont happen by using our elected representatives in the current system, but make no mistake, WE THE PEOPLE will take this country back one way or another. Hopefully the revolution will be a peaceful one.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  47. Alan Warner

    Only one way to do that: get rid of Congress. Nothing else will work. They have been doing things this way forever and are not about to break the habit now. If I were president I would veto any bill that had even one item of pork contained in it. The way things are done in Washington is criminal!

    January 22, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  48. john

    Either take the money away from them (Congress) or by utilizing computers, on every other saturday present all “completed” legislation from the past weeks to citizens for a final approval or veto on each line item.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  49. Chris A.

    Getting rid of congress!

    January 22, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  50. Mark Polanis

    Do you think America's 5 leading investment banks (Merrill, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Lehman, and Bear) should pay their top people an aggregate of $39 billion dollars in bonuses for their 2007 performance?

    January 22, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  51. Donald, Butte Montana

    How do we stop it?

    Very easy - the American people need to get off their lazy rear ends and go to the polls and vote the swine out of office.

    These spinelss politicians that don't have the instestinal fortitude to put their request(s) through the normal venting process need to be identified on the front page of every newspaper and media outlet.

    Enough of the continuing BS from the leaders of both parties saying they're stopping it or reducing it, YES, that includes John McCain. If the leaders of both parties want to stop earmarks then do it or go home.

    If the American people accept their tribble then they are just as responsible for it, the increasing debt, and lip-service from their representatives.

    Another big 'earmark' coming up is this $150+ billion so-called stimulis bill. I want to know how its going to be paid for????

    January 22, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  52. Carol

    Term limits!!

    January 22, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  53. Allen

    Jack, in 1996 less than 1000 earmarks went through Congress. Then the Republicans took over both houses of Congress. In 2005 more than 13,300 earmarks went through Congress. Even after "pork spending" has became a four-letter word there were still over 11,000 earmarks for the coming fiscal year.

    We need to get rid of the people in Congress who have used the federal budget as their slush fund, which would be about 95 percent of them, and almost any one who has been there more than four years.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:47 pm |


    January 22, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  55. Mike

    The return of tarring and feathering.

    January 22, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  56. Melvin

    The only way we will ever stop earmarks, is to tie Congress's pay to a balanced budget, and who would pass that law. Congress you say.

    Vote the bums out over and over and over again.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  57. David Harlow

    As long as politicians are indebted to their contributors, pork barrel spending will not end.

    The only way to end pork barrel spending is to make earmarks illegal along with granting the President line item veto.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  58. Michael M Phx AZ

    Plain and simple. Get rid of Congress. They don't do what the voters/citizens they represent want them to do anyway.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  59. PJ

    We were able to put a man on the moon. Why not clean up the mess in Washington. The problem is that someone in charge has to really care AND have the support of Congress. GOOD LUCK!!!! That's the real miracle that must happen.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  60. Patrick

    I'd like to see the Pork Barrel change to Pickle Barrel. Every tax dollar spent should be aimed at fixing the pickle were in. This means new jobs, repairing infrastructure, expanding green efforts, alternative energies and poverty programs.
    Each Earmark should create jobs. All non-necessities, new stadiums, grants, studies, museums, statues, and arts that should be funded by private donations. States should pick up a lot of these costs with a temporary penny sales tax increase. This is the tip of the iceberg when you consider government and military waste and fraud. That's the real money pit.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  61. Thom

    How about if we just restrict it by having each Senator and Congressmen to work within a controlled "pork" budget. And only those who have voted against bills that would break the national balance-budget would be rewarded with monies to take back home to their constituents .

    On a side note, I am a Vet, and would never vote for warmonger McCain.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  62. George in NC

    Pork will stop when Lou Dobbs is elected president.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  63. Karl in SF

    I would say when hell freezes over, but Hell, Michigan, has frozen over and the pork still reigns supreme.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  64. LCB

    Gosh Jack, who knows...who knows...

    January 22, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  65. Candy

    By not reelecting our current congressional leaders and electing Ron Paul president ! By the way, we might even get our civil rights back, relearn the Constitutuion, have a better economy and healthcare system, just to name a few extras.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  66. Daniel From Tempe AZ

    Very simply, a revolt against the current government and the IRS. If we do not give them money to spend, they can not have the pork....oops, sorry, they will just print more and put us further into debt.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  67. Jim

    2 words Jack, Ron Paul!

    January 22, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  68. Will K

    Transparency, transparency, transparency

    These earmarks and their cost are too easily hidden from the American public. If most citizens actually new what was being done with their money they would be outraged.

    No more committee reports
    No more presidential signing statements

    We need to pull back the wool and expose these wolfs for what they are.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  69. Marie from Texas

    Only if we Americans get to see the names and the money for all proposed projects made VERY public.

    In fact I would like to see the following:

    1. all the politicans whose states/regions have already benefited say over the last year on major appropriation bills. I'm OK with guilt by association for now.

    2. A nightly accounting of pros/cons on the senate debates on this economic package that is about to get debated. I want to know exactly what was proposed and who voted how. Maybe that could be reported in lieu of Brittany Spears latest disaster. We need more transparency in this government because we can't trust any one we sent there can we?

    We have got to have change and honesty in this country or it will cease to exist as we know it.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  70. Amnesty is Treason

    When the united states becomes a democratic society and rids it self of the "electoral college"!

    January 22, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  71. Steve T

    The pork spending will continue as long we have pigs running the show.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  72. Jim Hoffman

    Only when we get rid of all of the pigs in Washington, Jack.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  73. Joan Lemme

    The only way to get rid of pork is to get rid of all the career politicians and try to find those who sincerely want to serve their country and its citizens. Greed is the word. How many politicians are millionaires and how did they get their money? We must pay them well enough so they can do the job, but it must also be a real commitment to America and her citizens. Of course, I know that this will happen "when pigs fly". It's nice to dream.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  74. John

    It would be nice if they ended it like a Porky Pig cartoon."Th-th-th-that's all folks!" Jack, I don't thik they have the pork rinds to do what it takes!

    January 22, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  75. Sam3dogs

    Jack, let's give each representative a million dollars a year and each senator two million. That would be a little over 500 million a year. That's alot better than 17 billion a year. For each member that exceeds their limit, make them spend a week at Walter Reed taking care of veterans. Then a week building houses in New Orleans in August. Follow that up with a week in a cardboard box in Central Park in late January. And lastly, make them spend a week in a emergency room working on people that have no health insurance, and then a week working for the forclosure company taking their house because of the medical bills. Once their vacation is over we'll see how their attitude and efforts are the next time they vote to waste our money.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  76. Evan

    You're going to need to boot out a good deal of the doofuses chilling in congress at present, Jack. Our current lineup and system is nothing short of inadequate and corrupt. Until we make major changes, Bush and his cohorts will always be bringing us down and undermining the magnitude of our glorious paychecks.

    January 22, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  77. Ken KS

    I agree, get rid of Congress, i.e., throw the rascals out. I'm going to do just that in next election. No incumbents. I just wish if Lou Dobbs won't run, then put a gun to Al Gore's head and threaten him to run. He'll win. I can't wait for this so called economic emergency stimulus plan, it ought to be laughable. More tax cuts to the rich for more trickle down Reaganomics. Been through that.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  78. Eric Platt

    Jack, it will take the end of the world as we know it.

    Armageddon must occur. Fire and brimstone must fall from the heavens raining down on politicians who look at serving in Washington as a source of income.

    You will end pork when you end paying for politicians.

    How about returning to the days of the $1 a year man?

    January 22, 2008 at 6:05 pm |
  79. Steve H

    In the Bush administration, the arrogant dismissive complacency towards the trillion-dollar deficit, the illegal alien problem, the ailing economy, and the complicit congress are all signs that the current administration has always taken their out interests first.. vying for the Iraq War that by all counts is unnecessary with fudged evidence that they had weapons of mass destruction when there was none. Right now George Bush is trying to clear his conscience by issuing this new economic stimulus package. Some say this move is too late, I say it's table scraps compared to the money that's been wasted throughout his dentended presidency.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  80. Chris from Marietta, Georgia

    Jack, we all know that pork will go away when pigs fly, cows jump over the moon and hell freezes over. On the other hand, open disclosure of every single item, no matter how small, that politicians get from lobbyists would go a long way into making said pigs fly and cows jump. Satan getting some air conditioning doesn't hurt either.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  81. Blaine

    Term limits

    January 22, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  82. Jeremy B

    It will take a President with some balls... and that doesn't have to be a man....

    January 22, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  83. Robert

    Oh it'll end, when we dissolve Congress and force them to go back to their home states to get real jobs. I think the states can govern themselves just find without them.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  84. Denise in Connecticut

    Simple...when pigs fly!

    January 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  85. Steve Duran

    Only way we can get rid of pork-spending is by getting rid of all the "Butchers" of the economy. Chose better leaders.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  86. Barbara from NJ

    A bloody revolution.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  87. Jess Fields

    Of course pork spending won't end, Jack, because the Republican Party has lost its way. The old party of fiscal restraint has for seven years followed a president whose "compassionate conservatism" is spending our children into poverty. We need a president who knows how to use a veto pen, and at this point, I don't care what party he or she belongs to.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  88. Lee Anne

    It will take a major recession....and eventually a Democrat in the White House. Ooooh, we're there..........

    January 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  89. jerry willey

    Jack,we have to get rid of the pigs.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  90. Mark (Bston, Massachusetts)

    It will take a person with experience cutting spending, who has learned how to tell people no, and is not in government for the money. It will take Mitt Romney!

    January 22, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  91. Sterling Greenwood

    Yes, when the dollar becomes so worthless from being overprinted that we have to take laundry bags full of the things to grocery store just to buy a loaf of bread.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  92. Ken Pierce

    This one is simple.
    We need a Line Item Veto law.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  93. Brittany

    I think that all Pork spending is not bad. Just because it is focused on one state, doesn't mean it won't help others who visit that state or provide knowledge on a topic that can be used in other states.

    What needs to be done is prevent the pork spending that benefits the Congress person in their relection because of the money they earn from campaign donations for said pork. Perhaps reforming campaign finance laws would curb some pork spending.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  94. Bruce Marshall

    Jack never unless a President uses the line item veto and then pork spending by Congress will go away until they find another way to spend it.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  95. Stephen and Pamela

    The answer to the question is easy! A constitutional ammendment is the only way that congress and the adminstrative branch will stop this wasteful spending on earmarks and special interests.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  96. Dave

    Disbanding Congress

    January 22, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  97. Matt

    Hi jack, I'm a 17 year old Canadian student, and from the outsider perspective i believe that the only way you will get rid of pork spending is to get rid of all of those fat pigs who claim to own Washington. Big fan, Matt

    January 22, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  98. Richard Starker

    Replace Congress with more intelligent persons, like maybe an eigth grade school class!
    Rich in Dolan Springs,AZ

    January 22, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  99. Kathy in New York

    Pork will end when we as a country stop electing career politicans to office who have decades of contacts to 'grease' with congressional funds. Doesent seem like something we are ready to do yet...

    January 22, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  100. Robin Krauss

    Earmarks will always be a permanent fixture in congress because it benefits greedy legislators. If some presidential candidate would have the balls, they would outlaw all earmarks. Instead, they would divide up the money in the budget that's normally spent on it (or less) and divide it to each state based on population. It would be the state's responsibility to decide how to spend it. If they don't have enough for a specific project they'll have to save for it over 2 or 3 years – just like I do when I want to buy a new car.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  101. David A. Morse, Stoneham, MA


    Sure, Pork Spending Will End. When All the Cockroaches go extinct!

    January 22, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  102. Zachary Yoder

    I'm not saying Republicans are innocent in this area but my question is this – Why is a Republican president being blamed for pork that is being added in a congress controlled by Democrats? It takes a bipartisan effort to cut pork out legislation.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  103. Dr David O'Rourke

    Some ones' pork is somebody elses necessary road and bridge improvements that were removed from budget by a tight republican...Soon as those items are apart of the budget process then I suspect pork will disappear...maybe

    January 22, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  104. JJ in ILLINOIS

    Easy solution – get rid of the pigs and hogs 🙂

    January 22, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  105. James North

    I think the point should be made that not ALL spending is wasteful "pork barrel" spending. For example, isn't the control of agricultural pests (one of the items in your list of recent "pork barrel" spending examples) a worthwhile expenditure?

    In my opinion, the worst example of wasteful government spending is the hundreds of billions spent on the war in Iraq, and all the "pork barrels" in the world cannot even come close to competing with that!

    January 22, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  106. Rob Menne

    Lets face it jack, Politicians have 2 primary causes, get money and spend money and they don't seem to care how they do either. Ron Paul is my hero.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  107. Debbie

    One way is to let states keep most of their tax dollars and let states negotiate openly with each other to borrow money needed for these projects. This way we can keep better track of where the money goes...

    The other option is we all convert to Judaism, then we could eliminate pork altogether.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  108. Roger McLeod

    Pork spending will continue as long as politicians position themselves as "above the fray." You have to get down in the mud and fight it out with boar hogs to get your way where in the microphones and cameras don't go. Which of the candidates displays the willingness and skill to do what it really takes to kick the other squealing hogs away from the trough? Soo Eeee pig!

    January 22, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  109. Donna

    John Edwards says he's got the answer about "pork". Lets call his bluff and elect him president. Sounds good to me.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  110. Bette Anderson

    Dear Mr. Cafferty Re: your question on pork spending and when it will end, I can only say, Have pigs started flying yet? Pun intended.

    January 22, 2008 at 6:17 pm |