Tuesday, November 30, 2004
On this day:

Alabama Gets its Share of Federal Pork

This B'ham News editorial points out that Alabama stands to receive more than $205 million for special projects from the federal government due to Congress's recent passage of a $388 billion spending bill. Some of the projects funded in the state include $2 million for streetscape development in western Madison County, $1 million for catfish genomics research at Auburn University, $1 million for the American Village in Shelby County, $2 million for the conservative Alabama Policy Institute for the "National Fatherhood Initiative," $300,000 for street improvements in Midfield, $200,000 for a pedestrian walkway in Vestavia Hills, and $4 million for an "intelligent transportation system" on Hwy. 280 in Jefferson County.

This type of spending by the federal government is nothing new, but it raises a lot of questions. Chiefly, where does Congress find the constitutional authority to fund these types of pet projects? Secondly, wouldn't it make more sense for states and local governments to projects that benefit local communities and have very little relevance for the rest of the nation?

Republicans now control both Congress and the Presidency. They should take the opportunity to end the diversion of federal tax dollars to local projects. The Constitution doesn't authorize it, and the federal budget can't support it.