2011 Pork Report uncovers $371 million in government waste

June 28, 2011 1:25PM

NASHVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Center for Policy Research today released its 2011 Tennessee Pork Report, exposing that state and local governments across Tennessee wasted $371 million over the past year. For the sixth consecutive year, Tennessee’s premier free market think tank partnered with taxpayer watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste to document waste, fraud, and abuse at all levels of Tennessee government. Examples of wasteful spending outlined in the 2011 Pork Report include:

  • $140 million to pay a European company to relocate to Memphis;
  • $14.5 million on an unnecessary solar energy program run by the state;
  • $2.5 million to provide tax credits to Nissan Leaf purchasers, which could lead to an increase in state gas taxes;
  • $131,000 to send utility district employees on exotic trips around the globe; and
  • $95,000 wasted by Nashville’s criminal court clerk who only works three days each week.

“Yet again, state and local governments failed to live up to taxpayers’ expectations by wasting their hard-earned money,” said Justin Owen, president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. “With our economy in dire straits, the last thing government officials should be doing is offering handouts to corporations, dreaming up whimsical environmental programs, and using taxpayer money for their personal use. It’s time for them to become better stewards of Tennesseans’ money.” In addition to exposing wasteful government spending habits, the report also offers three effective solutions to eliminate waste and promote more responsible, transparent government. The report serves as an informative and valuable resource for policymakers and taxpayers alike. “Tennesseans should arm themselves with the Pork Report and hold their elected officials accountable for government waste,” said Ben Cunningham, spokesman for Tennessee Tax Revolt, who participated in the report’s release. “Only then can we truly cut the fat in government.” The litany of examples of government waste, fraud, and abuse in the 2011 Pork Report come from state and local government budgets, media reports, appropriations bills, state audits, and independent research conducted by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. An electronic version of the report can be found at: Hardcopies can be purchased by calling (615) 383-6431 or emailing The Tennessee Center for Policy Research is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through the ideas of liberty. Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.