Federal Pork’s Dubious Return per Dollar Spent

One of the problems with looking through public budget numbers to identify wasteful spending is that the numbers become mind-numbing after a while. Is a $1,000,000 a lot to pay for something or not? How about $10,000,000? Or $100,000,000?
Here is an example. The Westerly Sun has a report on construction of a new police station in Westerly. The total cost for a new police station, according to the Sun, is $12,300,000. Sounds like a lot. However, a quick look at the RI highway bill earmarks shows that $10,000,000 has been budgeted for improving the Blackstone River Bikeway. It’s hard to believe that building a few miles of bikepath really costs as much as building a police station.
When you see these kinds of numbers side-by-side, it becomes obvious that the people of Rhode Island would be better off if they had their federal tax burden reduced. When control of the money stays closer to home, communities can address their local needs instead of paying for premium-priced pork.
To see a list of $49,000,000 in highway pork suggested for redirection to more pressing needs, click here.

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