The Merits of Pork Barrel spending

Tom Barnes of the Post-Gazette has a story on the state capital budget, covering some of the projects in the Pittsburgh area. The Rendell administration tries to take a shot at us, claiming we only appeal to “rabid conservatives” and ignore the “merit” of projects and “good public policy”.

In contrast, it is the Rendell administration that is ignoring good public policy. For instance, nearly all the evidence indicates that taxpayer support of sports stadiums have no economic benefits, but do benefit the bottom lines of team owners.

It is also clear that borrowing for “economic development” spending does not lead to economic growth, that Governor Rendell’s EcoDevo spending has failed, that the New Deal didn’t “create jobs”, that states with lots of EcoDeve spending are losing jobs and people, and that cutting taxes is key to economic growth.

Of course, I don’t expect the Rendell administration to consider the evidence, and it may be presumptuous of me to assume that “good public policy” means allowing for job creation and economic development, rather than generating invites to ribbon-cutting ceremonies and “political development” for lawmakers.