The 2010 Congressional Pig Book, released by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is out, and it exposes the considerable pork given to academia.
“Sen. [Tom] Harkin [D-Iowa] has long been a determined crusader for pork,” states the Pig Book summary (pdf). “In a November 25, 2006 New York Times article, he claimed, ‘I happen to be a supporter of earmarks, unabashedly. But I don’t call them earmarks. It is “Congressional directed spending.”’”
Harkin, who chairs the Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, earmarked approximately $7.29 million “for the Iowa Department of Education” to run a grant program named after himself, the Harkin Grant program, according to the CAGW summary book. “($32,633,000 has been earmarked for this program since 2005…” it states. The long name for the grant program, which funds local school construction projects, is “The Iowa Demonstration Construction Grant Program.”
“The purpose of the program is to help school districts correct fire safety problems and to help school districts leverage local resources to construct new schools or remodel, modernize existing buildings. Approximately 35 percent of the available funds have been allocated each year for addressing fire safety issues and 65 percent for construction,” according to the Iowa Department of Education website.
Here’s just a few of the other education-related earmarks outlined in the 2010 Pig Book summary. (Many more are listed there.)
- “$400,000 to the AIB College of Business in Des Moines to continue recruiting and training captioners and court reporters and to provide scholarships to students;…”
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.):
- “…$450,000 for preserving and digitizing recordings at the modern political library archives at the University of Mississippi;”
- “$300,000 for Delta State University for music education in rural areas; $300,000 for the American Music Archives at the University of Mississippi; … $100,000 to archive newspaper and digital media at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College” (emphasis added); and
- “$200,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for the Washington National Opera in Washington, D.C. for set design, installation, and performing arts at libraries and schools”(emphasis added).
“The Washington National Opera had a fund balance of $19,547,622 as of June 30, 2008,” states the Pig Book summary.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
- “…$500,000 for purchasing equipment and curriculum development at Fairleigh Dickinson University (which has an endowment of $23,150,084);…”
- “…and $150,000 for the West New York Board of Education to launch an alternative fuel education program and to purchase equipment” (emphasis added).
Sen. Arlen Specter (D.-Penn.):
- “…$100,000 for science education programs and equipment purchasing at Cedar Crest College (which has an endowment of $18,138,926);…”
- “….and $100,000 for internet-based foreign language programs at Carnegie Mellon University (which has an endowment of $1,061,625,145)”;
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah):
- “$…600,000 for curriculum development at Western Governors University…”
- “ …and $250,000 for the I Won’t Cheat Foundation in Salt Lake City for an anti-steroids education program and awareness campaign” (emphasis added).
Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.)
- “$100,000…for exhibits and education outreach at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center in Mobile.”
“Federal taxpayers could have avoided the tab for this earmark if each of Mobile’s 191,022 residents had explored their bank accounts for an extra 53 cents,” it states.
Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.)
- “$100,000 …for career exploration and training for at-risk youths for jobs in filmmaking at the Duke Media Foundation in Hollywood.”
Bethany Stotts is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia.