Pig Book: The most expensive ‘pork barrel’ projects in the US budget this year

© Jim Bourg
Upgrades to unnecessary tanks, a $1 billion battleship and a problem-plagued fighter jet are just some of the ways US Congress is wasting taxpayer money this year, according to a public spending watchdog.

A moratorium in 2011 technically put a stop to earmarks, or the practice of Congress Members funding government ‘pet’ projects in their home states and districts.

However, fiscal watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has identified a number of ways so-called ‘pork barrel’ politics is continuing in the appropriation of taxpayer dollars.

Infamous pork projects of the past have included the now-defunct Sparta Teapot Museum in North Carolina, which was forced to return $400,000 worth of earmarked funding in 2009.

A proposed $223 million Alaskan overpass ‒ dubbed the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ ‒ to serve barely more than 50 people on Gravina Island also became a symbol of the foolish legislative procedure, and was later scrapped.  

This year, the CAGW’s Pig Book summary states that earmarks have actually gone up by 17.1 percent since 2015.

Of the 123 earmarks concerning the Department of Defense, which total $5.1 billion, here are some of the most expensive products on the Congressional shopping list: