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So big issue going on right now the Citizens Against Government Waste has released -- 2012.
Congressional pig -- have you seen us.
It's a buck it features a complete database of pork projects and profiles the most egregious examples.
From appropriation bills all whole lot of government waste going on in here Tom Schatz the president of Citizens Against Government Waste is here with us this morning thanks for being here I like the artwork but.
Well we've been doing -- a 21 years we finally perfected the take on the cover.
-- nothing like keep trying right tell you what the highlights are.
This year for you.
Interestingly the highlight is that there is far less.
It's expenditure on earmarks and then we've had in the past twenty years 3.3 billion dollars that's down 80% from 2010.
The last time we published a pig book.
The number projects is the lowest ever 152.
While there's a congressional moratorium on earmarks are definition is a little more strict but even under our strict definition.
The amount of money they're spending on these projects has been drastically reduced we'd like to get it to zero but we've made a lot of progress how do you account for the progress.
The taxpayers -- of the election certainly in 2010.
The Republicans in the house had a moratorium when they were in the minority.
Then they took the majority the freshman came in and said the speaker Boehner let's keep this going he's a great that's a good idea.
President said he wouldn't sign bills of the earmarks the senate Democrats finally went along.
Although I will point out that in our pig book 77%.
Of the project's thing to be identified.
As coming from the house or senate which is one of our criteria.
Came from the senate.
So they're still doing as much as they can and Harry Reid and senator in -- -- chairman of the appropriations committee of both said many times they'd like to get earmarks back.
So we have to be very careful we don't want them to go all the way back up as they did before.
Well that's interesting.
The -- got some politicians saying we missed the earmarks and and really I mean if we're honest about it politicians need earmarks.
Because that they don't what don't they don't how they proved to their constituents that they have their best interest at heart.
No they don't those look -- the freshman Republicans they came in did not have any attention to earmarks they don't want them.
Jeff flake John even Boehner who's the speaker of course never asked for an earmark John McCain's -- -- and gentlemen -- Pat Toomey who has.
Bill to eliminate earmarks entirely in the future and they're all making a point.
That we don't need them in order to get things done.
You do have on the other hand representatives like Mike Rogers of Alabama was on the transportation committee and says the only way we get a transportation bill done.
Is earmarks and as Senator McCain said yesterday at our press conference with the pig book.
And this is like driving the members to pass legislation.
And that's their job to pass legislation.
-- three strikes on our live chat the government waste money every single day on pet projects.
Why else would we be bar is so much money from other countries like China.
-- true we do again.
Waste a lot of money the pet projects in this case the earmarks as they are categorized.
Are much lower there's plenty of other ways earmarks has never really accounted for more than about 1%.
Of the entire federal budget.
And so their symbolic of additional wasteful spending and that was really congressman -- point we need the earmarks so we can visit hugely expensive transportation bill.
Because the objection to the transportation bill is it's too expensive.
So there's ideas let's buy off these Republican freshman with a few little goodies and -- -- vote for this and massive.
Big you know bill that that spends too much money.
You say that we are spending less and earmark she still call it the book Washington doesn't want you to read what you call that.
We've always called -- that and the point is that these are the kind of under the radar kinds of expenditures that -- -- in by the members of the last minute.
In the past they have been.
Identified with the members of congress under the transparency rules but the appropriations committees certified always fills us earmark free.
So other than a few where we are certain who asked for the project we just aren't sure who they're going to on the other end once the money gets to the total agencies.
And we have some numbers we can put up on the screen here -- congressional pig book summary shows that eight million will go for global HIV aids prevention.
Three million additional funding for ongoing shore protection I assume that's here in the United States.
Five million for abstinence.
Your thoughts on the on what we've just put up on the screen.
Well of the global HIV aids prevention is being funded at the Department of Defense.
In the meantime there's two and a half a billion dollars in the labor health and human services bill for HIV prevention and research.
Oh wait a minute.
Why are we paying extra then out of the Department of Defense.
Well that's not even all that there's five and a half billion in the state departments we have a total of seven point eight billion verses eight million.
And that the comptroller of the Pentagon.
Testified before congress earlier this year that a great way to save money for the Pentagon which is under extreme stress in terms of budget cuts.
Be to eliminate all these congressionally directed kind of extra money.
For disease and health research total of more than 650.
Million dollars DOD budget for programs that are done.
In other agencies as about.
239 million for cancer research nothing -- the government being involved.
-- National Cancer Institute has five billion dollars for cancer research let's leave that money.
Where it should be spend which is with the people that do -- for -- the for a -- the military doesn't need to be doing it.
Tom -- nothing's really it to me I mean 650 million in extras that are done by other agencies seems like a no brainer -- quickly and I got to let you go fast.
Your thoughts on the GSA -- It's just the latest in their long line of scandals.
We've had billions wasted in Iraq we -- Abscam we had Jack Abramoff.
You know -- -- don't happen next is always something did happen in the Social Security I'm -- Secret Service in the military but if there's always that way that doesn't offend you extra.
But offends me act strongly because it's the additional prove that there is.
A complete lack of oversight at the agencies and in congress that should have been stopped long ago.
All right Tom -- thank you so much Citizens Against Government Waste and the new pig book.
Who is out although I guess in Washington they're afraid to read it we'll tell about it Tom thanks thanks Harris.
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