Hawaii has been given the dubious distinction of being the #1 state in the nation with the largest total dollar value of frivolous projects funded by the federal government. But consider the source: the Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), a 503c non-profit conservative organization, funded by private and corporate interests that are pro-business and anti-government regulation.
The organization, founded in 1984 by J. Peter Grace and Jack Anderson, is on a crusade to eliminate what it considers waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government. While it is not a new organization, it has steadily been drawn into the limelight as conservatives have gained Congressional clout. The practice of federal earmarks, which guarantees federal funds for specific recipients or projects, has become a hot topic in Congress these days. The nonprofit has engaged in lobbying on behalf of various interests including the tobacco industry and Microsoft’s battle over open source software.
According to data in CAGW’s latest “Pig Report,” more than $326 million was appropriated to Hawaii for unnecessary, “pork barrel” projects in 2009. It’s a big slap in the face when you consider that these are actually vital programs for our state. Federally funded projects are likely to be front and center in the anticipated Congressional budget battle. UHPA will continue to monitor these issues through the Hawaii Congressional Delegation and the National Education Association’s federal lobbying activity.
For a complete list of what is under attack at the UH system, including community colleges, go to www.cagw.org to view the Pig Reports by state.