Think Tank President Calls on President and Congress to Cut Federal Pork Rather Than Increase Deficit for Katrina Relief

“Michigan’s congressional delegation needs to step up,” says Reed

For Immediate Release
Contact: Chris Bachelder, Director of Communications
Phone: (989) 631-0900

MIDLAND — Lawrence W. Reed, president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, today called on President Bush and Congress to heed nationwide calls to cut federal pork barrel spending given the U.S. government’s commitments following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "If federal lawmakers believe that this hurricane relief effort is a national priority, they should act like it," Reed observed. "Setting priorities means saying ‘no’ to some things — and saying ‘no’ to pork barrel spending is much better than saddling our grandchildren with more debt."

"Earlier this summer, Congress passed the most pork-laden highway bill in history," Reed added. "The billions of dollars of waste in that bill should be cut to finance the repair of highways in the hurricane-effected areas of Louisiana, Alabama, Texas and Mississippi. Similarly, the pork in the recent energy bill should be funneled to rebuilding hurricane-damaged energy infrastructure. Given the broad range of federal programs, money should be available for every facet of the federal relief effort."

"Of course," Reed noted, "after the federal government’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina, one can wonder if the feds shouldn’t step aside and allow private organizations, which have been much more successful, to do the job instead. But if the president and Congress insist on being involved, they should at least spend responsibly. This goes for Michigan’s congressional delegation, too: They need to step up and eliminate all wasteful spending, even if it is targeted to their districts."