2008 Tennessee Pork Report: $260M in Waste & Abuse

April 22, 2008 3:27AM

NASHVILLE – The 2008 Tennessee Pork Report, released today, exposes $260 million in waste, fraud and abuse of tax dollars. Authored by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, Tennessee’s free market think tank, in partnership with Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s premier taxpayer watchdog, the 2008 Tennessee Pork Report is the only comprehensive examination of the waste of taxpayer dollars committed by politicians and bureaucrats at all levels of government in Tennessee. In total, the Pork Report uncovers more than 100 examples of wasteful spending by state and local governments, including hundreds of thousands of dollars added to the cost of renovating the Tennessee Governor’s Mansion for a wet bar, accent lighting and a major kitchen overhaul, and nearly $200,000 in subsidies for fairs and livestock shows. Other examples of waste include:

  • $1.7 million to fund a ferry service used by an average of 23 people per day.
  • $1.4 million to subsidize state-owned golf courses.
  • $420,000 for electric motors that were never delivered to Memphis schools.
  • $27,620 to aid a film festival that screened “Goodnight Vagina” and “The Teat Beat of Sex.”

The report exposes many areas in the state budget where wasteful spending can be eliminated, providing a valuable resource to legislators and taxpayers.

“The government waste uncovered in the Pork Report shows a blatant disregard for taxpayers and their hard-earned money,” according to Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson. “By rooting out the waste, fraud and abuse of tax dollars uncovered in the Pork Report, Tennessee lawmakers have an opportunity to show their commitment to responsible spending and address the state’s looming budget shortfall.”

The Pork Report concludes with recommendations to encourage a more restrained, responsible and transparent state government. Examples of government waste, fraud and abuse of tax dollars in the Pork Report come from the State Budget, appropriations bills, audits, media reports and independent research conducted by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.