One of the most bi-partisanly problematic and controversial issues in Washington is that of earmarks and pork-barrel spending. Several organizations exist to track this -- often irresponsible and secret -- spending of taxpayer dollars. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) keeps painstaking tabs on each bill and appropriation so you don't have too. Today, they released their 2009 Congressional Pig Book, especially relevant due to the recent omnibus spending bill and huge stimulus package passed in the House and Senate.
The book is available online or for sale in hard copy and documents simple facts like this: "Congress stuffed 10,160 projects into the 12 appropriations bills worth $19.6 billion. The projects represent a 12.5 percent decrease from the 11,610 projects in fiscal year 2008. The $19.6 billion is a 14 percent increase over the fiscal year 2008 total of $17.2 billion, belying claims of reduced spending."
It highlights specific legislators and projects to exemplify how outrageous some earmarks have become. Number one anti-pork crusader, Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ), who publishes an "egregious earmark of the week" on a regular basis, had lots to say about the Pig Book earlier this year: