As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Who's Pigs Are Bigger?

Oh great, the geniuses at Citizens Against Government Waste have rolled out their latest Congressional Pig Book, and they had a big press conference in DC, complete with actual pigs (har!), humiliating and shaming all those Congresscritters who feed themselves at the trough (get it?) with these wasteful pork-barrel projects that blow a hole in the federal budget. $17 billion dollars worth of pork in the 12 appropriations bills. $17 billion!


Government auditors issued a scathing review yesterday of dozens of the Pentagon's biggest weapons systems, saying ships, aircraft and satellites are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.

The Government Accountability Office found that 95 major systems have exceeded their original budgets by a total of $295 billion, bringing their total cost to $1.6 trillion, and are delivered almost two years late on average. In addition, none of the systems that the GAO looked at had met all of the standards for best management practices during their development stages.

Auditors said the Defense Department showed few signs of improvement since the GAO began issuing its annual assessments of selected weapons systems six years ago. "It's not getting any better by any means," said Michael Sullivan, director of the GAO's acquisition and sourcing team. "It's taking longer and costing more."

The CGAW designation of what is "porkbarrel" spending is not qualitative, based entirely on the technical way in which spending requests are inserted into appropriations bills. They could be money for museums or research and development all the way up to infrastructure improvements (next time someone goes on and on about "pork" say something like "Yeah, I know, I hate fixing bridges so they don't collapse with people on them!"). The GAO designation of these overruns in the weapons projects reflect the discrepancy between the original budget and the final cost. Which is kind of the definition of, you know, waste.

$295 billion in waste versus $17 billion, some of which is waste. Sounds like Citizens Against Government Waste has the right target, don't you think?

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