You Can Be a Big Pig Too

If this year is like every other, tonight will be a night of unusual journeys for many Americans.  They will climb in their cars at 11:50pm, drive like mad to the post office and mail out their tax returns before the stroke of midnight.

Uncle Sam better be happy about it, because no one else is.

Some people are taking to the streets, staging tax protests that hark back to the founding of the American Republic – a tea party.  They’ll be in Norwich, Hartford, Greenwich, and New Haven, amongst other places.

Other folks are taking a hard look at how those tax dollars you mailed to the U.S. Treasury are being spent – and the news is none too pleasing.  The D.C. based group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released their 2009 edition of the Pig Book, an annual publication that chronicles how the federal government spends our money.  According to CAGW, the feds spent $19.6 billion dollars on 10, 160 earmarks last year.

Connecticut’s federal delegation has the ignominious distinction of being near the top of the list of Congressional porkers.  Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Joe Lieberman are ranked 27th and 36th, respectively, for their earmark requests.  Dodd asked for 98 requests worth $226.3 million and Lieberman asked for 88 projects worth $190.4 million.

On the House side, second term Congressman Chris Murphy spends almost like a Senator, with 35 requests worth $109.4 million.  Look out Senator Dodd – Murphy will have a political bullseye on your back if you aren’t careful.

As a state, Connecticut is 25th in the nation – having received nearly 123 million earmarked dollars in the 2009 appropriations bills.  Alaska was the top pork recipient in the nation, receiving more than $221 million.

None of our current people got any of the “Oinker Awards” that CAGW dishes out but former Congressman Chris Shays scored one – the Water Taxi to Nowhere Award – for his $1.9 million earmark for the Pleasure Beach Water Taxi service project.

Happy Tax Day.


3 responses to “You Can Be a Big Pig Too

  1. AndersonScooper

    Ohmigod! Senators Lieberman and Dodd actually bring home some federal dollars!

    in 2010 I look forward to tossing all seniority and influence aside.

    Can we get our future Republican senator to promise NO MORE EARMARKS?

    Then we could see even more of our federal tax dollars go elsewhere!

  2. I had my taxes prepared by a professional this year. Picked them up this evening.

    My total liability to the state of Connecticut: $0. My total liability to NY State: a lot more than $0. I work in NY state, and since I took some capital losses last year, my non wage income was less than 0, so I don’t have to pay anything to Connecticut. Last year, because I had some investment income and interest income and such, I had to pay something in CT income tax.

    So this is a huge problem for Connecticut. There’s nothing they can really do to fix it without federal help, but NY state is going to resist it of course, and NY state has many more representatives in Congress than CT and NJ. I’m certainly not the only person who lives in CT, works in NY, and who shifted to zero taxable income in CT. A lot of people must have taken some losses by selling some stock in December to counterbalance any non wage income. I wonder if the folks at the Governor’s office and in the legislature modeled this properly?

    However, unless Connecticut raises its tax rates above NY state’s, the whole argument about CT income tax rates is moot to most of us in Fairfield county who work in NY State (I work in Westchester county about 10 yards over the state line).

  3. … I wonder if the folks at the Governor’s office and in the legislature modeled this properly?

    That’s sarcasm, right? 😉

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