Citizens Against Government Waste Pledge to Reign in Pork Disappoints

A press conference held today by the Citizens for
Government Waste (CAGW) proved a bit disappointing after a teasing
press release issued on Sept. 1. Before it seemed CAGW was urging
Congress to return highway bill earmarks for Katrina disaster relief.
At the noontime terrace meeting, however, CAGW only urged
Congress to sign a pledge to “oppose any project or provision that is
not directly related to the impact of Hurricane Katrina.” Although this
pledge certainly has its merits, it’s nothing close to directly asking
people like Sen. Young to return the check for his $200 million dollar
bridge and give that money to hurricane victims. CAGW lost even more
traction when President Tom Schatz said this pledge was likely to
become important six months to a year from now because current relief
bills were already clean, giving supportive Senators and
Representatives, like John McCain the ability to grandstand on a
relatively needless pledge at this point. It would be much more
remarkable if the CAGW held firm to their original aim and made
pre-written pledges for members that went something to the effect of
“I, _________, promise to return money for (circle one: needless bike
path, intermodal transportation zoos, insignificant cultural museum
upgrade) so that it may given to people without food, water or
shelter,” rather than “In the coming months, but not quite yet, I
promise to keep a really careful eye out for things that might get
tucked away and snuck in just like I already let happen with the
Highway Bill.”