2006 April 09 Sunday
Alaska Pork Spending Dips As Stevens Power Decreases

Senator Ted Stevens (R Alaska) has brought home a lot of bacon for Alaska.

Taxpayers for Common Sense calculates that Alaska's earmarks in the 2006 federal spending bills totaled $1.05 billion, a drop of $335 million from last year.

Citizens Against Government Waste, using different criteria, figures that Alaska's per-capita pork fell by half.

Thomas Schatz of Citizens Against Government Waste says Alaska still gets 16 times the earmark dollars per person than the US national average.

Alaska's diminished success in winning federal earmarks reflects Sen. Ted Stevens' reduced dominion over federal spending bills.

Stevens, R-Alaska, had tremendous control of the government purse during the six years he served as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Term limits on chairmen forced him to give up the gavel at the end of 2004, although he remains a member of the committee and retained his chairmanship of the subcommittee over defense spending.

Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi replaced him as chairman and so now earmarks for Mississippi are on the rise.

Oh so poor Alaska? Senator Stevens admits the state for which he's pulled in the federal dollars is flush with funds from oil revenue.

JUNEAU -- Alaska's battered image means state lawmakers must loosen their purse strings if they want congressional aid to move the state's big projects forward, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens told the Alaska Legislature on Wednesday.

The Alaska Republican says the nation is facing an $8 trillion deficit and paying for troops in Iraq while Alaska is enjoying a $1.4 billion surplus and has $34 billion in the bank with the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Never mind that gigantic federal debt and deficit. If Stevens was still committee chairman the total dollars going to Alaska earmarks would be higher.

The people who run the United States seem determined to follow policies that will slowly pull us down. Whether it be immigration to ramp up the size of the population that gets more than it pays in taxes, old age programs such as the Medicare drug benefit enacted a few years ago, or the Iraq debacle the elites seem determined to wreck America.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 April 09 09:46 AM  Politics Money

razib said at April 9, 2006 5:16 PM:

partition anyone?

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