A Pork Festival

One reason the $388 billion spending measure that Congress rushed to approve by Thanksgiving is 3,320 pages long is that lawmakers have stuffed it with pork-barrel prizes. The bill has 11,772 pet projects costing a total of $15.8 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a government watchdog group. Congressional leaders of both parties have always allowed appropriations bills to be larded with stuff to ensure votes for the final measure. But in the past decade, when Congress has been dominated by the supposedly fiscally conservative G.O.P., the amount of pork in appropriations bills has more than tripled. "It's obscene. We...

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