October 2nd, 2009
10:33 AM ET
12 years ago

Even in time of war, 'pork' still reigns


WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama campaigned on a vow to end wasteful spending, but even in a time of war and record deficits, pork still reigns on Capitol Hill.

Funds meant to help U.S. troops at war are instead being spent on senators' pet projects that are geared more toward helping their home states.

Utah National Guardsmen returning from risky deployments receive a gesture of appreciation, a video scrapbook about their battalion and tour of duty. The video is produced by a business in Utah called StoryRock.

Utah's Republican Sen. Robert Bennett wants to help his home-state company take their project nationwide, so he's secured a $5 million earmark in the defense spending bill.

That $5 million comes from the fund that's supposed to pay for troops' basic needs such as food, fuel and ammunition.

But Bennett says the project saves money in the end.

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soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Gerald F.

    'But Bennett says the project saves money in the end.'
    ....... the only comment worth making that comes to mind on this is:
    "You got to be kidding!"

    October 2, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Right Leaning Independent

    Where is that scalpel that you claimed you would use Obama?? Remember the debate where McCain would wield an axe to cut out earmarks and you claimed that you would wield a scalpel to cut out the waste... Hmm, another broken promise!!

    October 2, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. a real American

    Makes you wonder how long before politicians are calling the shots on the battlefield. Why bother having generals, colonels, etc.?

    October 2, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Sean

    Sure.... when it's money in GOP states, it'll save money. When it's money in Dem states, it'll lose money... I see the point.

    October 2, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Rick CT

    Obama should veto this, live up to his promise, and tell Congress (both parties) to knock off the pork. We can't afford it.

    October 2, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Billy

    Pork and Republican projects go hand in hand.

    October 2, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. wwf

    Nobody who ever becomes president will ever get rid of all the pork. Anyone who says they will are liars looking for your vote. DFL/GOP.

    October 2, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. disgusted

    So Bennett says the project will save money? Did anybody ask him how? Guess it is too much to expect.

    October 2, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    President Obama campaigned on a vow to end wasteful spending,...
    _____________________________________________________
    No, that was John McCain and Sarah Palin. The majority of Americans voted that Washington spending was no problem, apparently in the hopes that some of it would come their way. I don't know, I'm just guessing why. I have a tough time figuring this one out, especially since we see now how it played out. Worse than it was before, even in a tough economy.

    October 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. GI Joe

    Better than the "BASH"ing that goes on from Dana and her lame husband all the time.

    Get your skinny emaciated face off the TV, Dana.

    October 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Leftie

    "Republicans and Democrats have 59 earmarks in the funds slated to pay for troops' essential needs,"

    Just goes to show you . . . "pork" is bi-partisan.

    October 2, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. George Gonzales

    It does not matter which party a "porkers" belong to, it's all pandering to the constituents at the nation's expense. Publish a list of who, how much, and what for please. The voters have a right to see what their money is being spent on. It is time to purge Congress of these self-absrobed pariah whose only real concern is reelection.

    October 2, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Walter

    It's too bad that President Obama couldn't find the courage to speak the truth about earmarks. I suppose in a world where people like John McCain are taken seriously, truth-telling is just too difficult.

    The truth is that there is nothing inherently wasteful, dishonest, or illegitimate about earmarks. All they are is project-specific public allocations.

    Whether they are wasteful or not depends on what is being purchased, whether its value justifies its price, and whether it is what the country actually needs.

    There is nothing sneaky or dishonest about them if they are done in the open by people who attach their names to the proposals and accept responsibility for them.

    And it is the entirely legitimate role of the legislature in our system of government to determine, with executive consent, our policies regarding public spending.

    So it makes no more sense to complain about earmarks generically than it does to criticize legislation in general.

    October 2, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. dave

    these people really have no shame do they..my god I'm sick of their hypocrisy!!!

    October 2, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Joseph B

    So it's solely Obama's fault that Republican senators are still taking away money from the troops? Snowe's project of fixing our troops' vehicles and Carper's project of providng cold weather gear to our troops make sense. But Video scrapbooks? Do our troops want that over food, fuel, ammunition and basic supplies when they are at war?

    October 2, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Obama's broken promises

    Barack Obama promised no more port spending – he broke that promise, and in fact, there is more pork spending this year than in the past 20 years.

    Barack said he would close Guantanamo "as soon as he got into office. Another broken promise that has been pushed to the side.

    Barack said he would have no lobbyists working for him – another broken promise.

    Barack said he would end the Iraq War in 6 months after taking office – another broken promise

    Barack said he would reduce the deficit – a BIG broken promise.

    Barack said he would end partisan politics and run a transparent administration – a COLLOSSAL big broken promise. we have the most polarized congress in the history of the US.

    Mr Obama is eloquent...beyoind that he is still an inexperieinced community organizer from the South side of Chicago who has done NOTHING constructive and is running this country into the toilet.

    We need change in DC, we need term linits in Congress. And we we a President who can lead.

    October 2, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Danette SHeridan

    All politicians who continue to do such things SHOULD NOT be re-elected. They just don't get it, do they?

    October 2, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Mark from Louisiana

    That's change you can believe in?

    October 2, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. g

    take 5 million away from troops in time of war and still sleep at night

    October 2, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. Greg in Cabot, AR

    I guess it's only "Pork" if it is proposed by a Democrat,

    Republicans view it as "Bringing-Home-the-Bacon" if tne money goes to "their" district.............

    HOW SAD........

    October 2, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. katiec

    How sad.
    Pork at times is good as it is the only way politicians can get funds for good, legitimate projects.
    But, these senators, who are taking money from the protection, beneifts of our fighting men and women for their own special interests prove again their lack of integrity.
    These senators are also voting against Public Option and playing games with our health care reform, hiding behind costs.
    At a time when spending is so critical. All earmarks and all politicians requesting them should be listed in detail.

    October 2, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. Minnesotan

    Typical Republican behavior: Spend, lie, spend, lie....

    October 2, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. JOBLESS IN IOWA

    Just like all the CROOKED SENATOADS in Congress

    October 2, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Jackie in Dallas

    "Utah's Republican Sen. Robert Bennett wants to help his home-state company take their project nationwide, so he's secured a $5 million earmark in the defense spending bill.

    That $5 million comes from the fund that's supposed to pay for troops' basic needs such as food, fuel and ammunition."

    Now, tell me again GOP why you were berating the Dems on THEIR pork projects? Tell us again why you think the Dems and the President are not supporting our troops? Recruiting is a different budget altogether than the funds being used to provide basic necessities. Did you not have access to THOSE funds so you had to take money away that was supposed to be used to FEED our troops, provide them ammo and fuel in battle?

    Hypocrite!

    October 2, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  25. DOC

    Take names, hand out pink slips.

    October 2, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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