Alaska Bridges Gap to De-funding..

Alaska - bridge to nowhere

The Club for Growth informs us the notorious bridge to nowhere ($223 million in pork) has supposedly gotten the axe, yet the money still goes to Alaska to spend as they see fit:

However, this can only be seen as a small victory. The millions of dollars allocated for this pork project will go to the Alaska state government for them to spend as they see fit — instead of the money going to the Katrina relief effort — or, heaven forbid, back to federal taxpayers.

Radley Balko appropriately calls it “smoke and mirrors” and remains skeptical:

It’s a cheap stunt by the GOP to deflect public criticism that doesn’t really change much of anything. All the conference committee did was remove the earmark for the bridges. Alaska will still be getting the same obscene amount of money from the federal government, it’s just that the state won’t be required to use it to build those two particular bridges. It’ll be up to the executive and the state legislature to decide how to spend it.

He notes that the money could very well still end up funding the bridge (though it’s not unreasonable to suspect the new bureaucratic overhead will have a toll).

Frankly, I think we should take some victory from the buzz it’s generating — enough to get PorkBusters (wikipedia) some well deserved media attention and raise the public consciousness on federal pork handouts.

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