2014 Pork Report Roasts Wasteful Spending

Beacon Blog, Feature, Policy, Recent News — By on June 25, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Our 2014 Pork Report is finally here. Below is the interactive version of our pork report. If you would rather read the PDF version, you can read that here.

The ninth annual annual Tennessee Pork Report, exposed an astonishing $609 million in state and local government waste. The $609 million is the highest amount of government waste uncovered in a single year since Beacon started publishing the report.

Examples of wasteful spending outlined in the 2014 Pork Report include:

  • More than $180 million in wrongfully paid unemployment benefits by the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, which includes benefits to felons and dead people. This blunder takes the prize of “Pork of the Year” in the report.
  • A school district with a $48.4 million blunder, where equipment—including computers and even cars—somehow came up missing.
  • $42.2 million on a swanky jetport in Cleveland to service high-end fliers.
  • $33 million towards a riverboat dock in Memphis that has been an unmitigated disaster so far.
  • A record-breaking $1.9 million wasted on state-owned golf courses.

“With more government waste, fraud, and abuse this past year than any before, the 2014 Pork Report will leave taxpayers seeing red,” said Beacon CEO Justin Owen. “It’s time for Tennesseans to start holding their elected officials accountable for the rampant misuse of their hard-earned money.”

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  • Tom Rowland says:

    Apparently your writer concerning the Cleveland airport is not familiar with airports especially the difference between commercial and general aviation. The writer mentioned the Chattanooga airport being only 30 miles away. Remember Hamilton Co. has two other airports that are general aviation or a total of three airports. Does your writer not know thedifference between a controlled airport and non controlled that speeds up departure time which is Money to those providing jobs. Because of the new airport ,on one day a local industry spent $33,000 on fuel.That meeting and others would not have been here without the airport.Cleveland has gone from the worst and most unsafe airport in the state to one of the finest.Please remember to ask someone in aviation before you assume. Example, a corporate jet crew driving from Cleveland to Chattanooga until departure time would have wasted almost two hours . By that time the aircraft can be approximently 500 miles to the destination. This is why jobs are coming to Bradley County.Cleveland has two colleges,hospital and because Chattanooga has those, we prefer our own. In the modern world aviation is quickly becomoning the most effecient business transportation.I would rather money from airport customers stay at home. Yes Chattanooga with three airports might wish we didn’t
    have a first class facility.Thank you for listening.

  • EasyWriter says:

    The $48 million in lost equipment was later revised downward when a more thorough search found a large part of it. http://www.localmemphis.com/story/d/story/scs-auditors-making-progress-in-hunt-for-48-millio/21265/P2mEzERLFU-p-PnzqQK2sA

    But the Beacon Center never lets facts get in the way of a good demagogue.

  • editor says:

    Mayor Rowland, with all due respect, If business is so great because of the jetport, have those thriving businesses pay for the luxury upgrades, not the taxpayers all across our state.

  • Tom Rowland says:

    FAA money comes from aviation fuel sales and cannot be used for anything else under federal law The waterfall and furnishings mentioned were paid for by private citizens.Why not jump on John Tune airport in the shadow of Nashville’s Berry field..

  • editor says:

    Check out the rest of the report. Nashville has plenty of its own problems misspending taxpayer money.

  • A-MEN! says:

    “If business is so great because of the jetport, have those thriving businesses pay for the luxury upgrades, not the taxpayers all across our state.”


    Surely the good mayor can see that if taxpayers in 90+ other counties are paying for airport upgrades in his county then his constituents will be on the hook to pay for 90+ other counties to upgrade whatever they think is needed all around the state.

    Keep your money local and the people there will hold you accountable. If I don’t get to vote on who spends MY money in Bradley County then why should MY money be taken and given to them?

  • Mike says:

    When you say the money was wasted on golf courses, do you mean it was at a loss?

  • editor says:

    Yes Mike, that is what we mean. All 9 state owned golf courses lost money this year.

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