Nation: The Pork Barrel

The public works bill that Jimmy Carter vetoed was a hodgepodge of hundreds of energy-producing and water-control projects. Many were clearly commendable (and supported by the President), such as the creation of a second deep-draft channel to relieve Honolulu's congested harbor and an irrigation project in northern Washington to nourish some 10,000 acres of apple orchards. But the bill also contained some projects benefiting so few people that Carter criticized them as wasteful. Some examples:

Colorado's Fruitland Mesa. The $127.9 million dam across the Gunnison River would have stored water, from three creeks flowing into it, in the west-central part of...

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