What’s the beef with pork?

We hear about “pork” all the time, spending added to bills for things unrelated to the main objective of the bill, and the instinctive response is “bad politicians”.  Actually not all pork is bad, just misplaced.  Some of it makes needed repairs to infrastructure.  Here are a few examples.  Money used to repair a red-list bridge that carries thousands of commuters every day is good because the bridge is a hazard to public safety and commerce.  Money to build a bridge to an island where a few people choose to live in isolation is bad because supporting their lifestyle choice isn’t a Federal matter.  Money to help a state recover from a natural disaster is good because it helps people and the overall economy.  Money to help a state compete for tourist dollars with a neighboring state is bad because, again, that’s not a Federal matter, it’s a state responsibility.

The cure for pork is OBOP,” One Bill One Purpose”.  This simply means that any spending attached to a bill must deal with substantially the same subject as the main bill.  Under OBOP infrastructure maintenance would be handled as it should be.  Each Congressional delegation would identify and prioritize infrastructure needs and funding would be included in the regular budget.  I doubt if Congress would pass such a restriction on itself but public pressure from “We the people” might make them think about it.

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