“What the Conservatives oppose are unnecessary and excessive spending, spending on pork barrels, spending on deficit and spending to pick winners and losers among Americans.”
– Barry Loudermilk
US free markets have a long history of improving the economy much better than the government. The problem with stimulus bills is that they stimulate too much “independent spending” and too little “real spending” to help the economy. And voters tolerate this as long as they get their piece of the pie.
In 1790, during our first Congress, the Senate was deadlocked on the approval of the federal funding bill. George Thatcher of Massachusetts told Congress that if they included a provision to allocate $ 1,500 to build a lighthouse in Maine, he would press enough votes to pass the budget bill. And that was the first piece of pork fat added to a federal finance stew to make it more acceptable.
The term pork barrel has its origins in the pre-war period, when slave owners gave barrels of salted pork to slaves for them to fight and share. In 1863, Edward Hale used the term to describe government spending, which linked the phrase to politics. After the Civil War, when Congress added money to bills for pet political reconstruction projects, dabbling became the leach it is today.
Over the past two decades, in response to financial crises, the government has increased …
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