The Public Interest

In praise of pork

Eric M. Patashnik & John W. Ellwood

Winter 1993

IN A WHITE HOUSE address last March, President Bush challenged Congress to cut $5.7 billion of pork barrel projects to help reduce the deficit. Among the projects Bush proposed eliminating were such congressional favorites as funding for asparagus research, mink reproduction, and local parking garages. The examples he cited would be funny, said the President, “if the effect weren’t so serious.” Bush announced he would work with House Republicans to bring these items to a vote individually—a strategy designed to embarrass congressional Democrats before the November elections by forcing them to take public stands on scores of questionable programs.

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