Remember the absolutely critical Omnibus spending bill Congress muscled through at the end of last year? It was 4,000 pages that no one read and cost taxpayers $1.7 trillion!
In our Let's Cut Some Spending series, ForAmerica will chronicle parts of the 2021 and 2022 spending bills from a variety of sources that you probably don't know about - programs, grants and spending of all kinds that should have never happened in the first place and many that are still happening.
The process of earmarking spending is something that extends back far before the 2021 and 2022 cycles, but needs to be addressed.
So... for today’s offering: Billions in earmarks!
Fox News reports:
Since 1991, (Citizens Against Government Waste) has identified 124,212 earmarks costing $437.5 billion.
"Members of Congress add these projects and programs because it benefits their districts or their states, not the whole country," Schatz said. "Many of them think it helps them get re-elected, but that became problematic when members and lobbyists went to jail as a result of the corruption associated with the earmarks."
"That hasn't happened yet with the revival of earmarks, but it may happen soon enough," he added.
CAGW's Tom Schatz said lawmakers treat the Department of Defense in particular as "a bottomless money pit."
CAGW found $1.5 billion allocated through three earmarks for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Included was funding for 18 aircraft that the Pentagon didn't request.
All told, the Defense Department received $10.1 billion from 134 earmarks in 2023, according to the report.
Lawmakers, "in the name of national security, add money, but they are not following what the Pentagon wants," Schatz said.
$437.5 billion. Some of that spending went toward projects that weren't even requested.