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Helps Explain Why There's No Money for Roads

Rational taxpayers have to wonder just what goes through the heads of some elected officials. The latest example is U.S. Representative David Hobson (R-Ohio) who was named yesterday by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) as the “January 2008 Porker of the Month for earmarking funds for a public restroom and gas station.”

According to CAGW, “Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.”

Two paragraphs in the CAGW press release provide further support for Rep. Hobson’s award:

  • “Rep. Hobson added a $300,000 Economic Development Initiative (EDI) grant for the Springfield Arts Council for “construction of Phase III of the west plaza comfort station” in the Fiscal 2008 Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (THUD), and Related Agencies portion of the omnibus appropriations bill.  EDI grants were originally intended to be competitively awarded to projects in low and moderate-income communities, but the program has evolved into a notorious pork warehouse.
  • “A prior Hobson earmark of great notoriety recently came to fruition.  Rep. Hobson had made it his personal mission to fund a gas station ever since he almost ran out of gas in Wilberforce, Ohio, more than 20 years ago.  In 2001, he earmarked an $800,000 EDI grant to the Tawawa Community Development Corporation in Wilberforce for the project.  Speedway SuperAmerica and county commissioners chipped in $900,000, but it wasn’t until December 27, 2007 that the Tawawa/Dave Hobson Plaza opened for business.  A pizza place or takeout restaurant is expected to move in soon.”

Earmarks, or pork as they are more commonly called, are not responsible for the condition of America’s highways or the nation’s national debt, but they reflect the lack of fiscal responsibility by the nation’s lawmakers.

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