Wasteful government spending that makes no sense is often referred to as “pork barrel” spending or just “pork” spending. It has been referred to that way since before the Civil War.
Yes, even Honest Abe had some pork in his budget.
Pork spending often includes ridiculous things like “$2 million to construct an ancient Hawaiian canoe,” or “$1 million to preserve a sewer in Trenton, NJ, as an historic monument.”
Many of these bizarre and absurd pork items have been suitably noted in THE GOVERNMENT RACKET: Washington Waste from A to Z, by Martin L. Gross. In his book, Marti provides us with an extensive itemized list.
I have to ask myself, in these modern times, why didn’t Congress listen to Will Rogers in the first place?
Back in the pre-Obama era (1920s and 30s), Will Rogers had the right idea when he said "The budget is like a mythical bean bag. Congress votes mythical beans into it, then reaches in and tries to pull real ones out."
He also pointed out that during elections "The average citizen knows only too well that it makes no difference to him which side wins. He realizes that the Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey have come to resemble each other so closely that it is practically impossible to tell them apart; both of them make the same braying noise, and neither of them ever says anything. The only perceptible difference is that the elephant is somewhat the larger of the two.”
If Will were alive today, I can just hear him advising Congress to consolidate. You know, States like Rhode Island with only four electoral votes can be easily merged into States like Massachusetts, which has 13; Vermont can go to New York; New Hampshire to Maine; and so forth, until we evolve into an economic Godzilla. Then, we can go overseas and stomp on China for pirating, bootlegging, and violating US copyright and trademark laws. We should then be able to sue and raise about $100 trillion just on what we find in Shanghai, alone. That should wipe out our national debt, right?
Americans don’t have any use for a Gōng Yáng White House knock-off.
"If stupidity got us in this mess, why can't it get us out?" ~ Will Rogers▪