I wish I could say that it is surprising that a sitting member of Congress would fleece the taxpayers for the benefit of an institution with which the member has close associations, but unfortunately this ongoing abuse of taxpayer dollars in Washington seems to have no end.
This time around, the lucky winner is the University of the Incarnate Word (UIC), the largest private Catholic college in Texas, who recently received 2 million taxpayer dollars to build a multi-level parking garage for UIC’s School of Pharmacy. Not only is UIC a private and local institution, it is not exactly in dire need of said parking lot. A poll by Campusdirt.com reported that 58% of students at UIC found off-campus parking to be “quick and easy,” and parking at UIC received an overall grade of B.
This outrageous windfall comes compliments of the ever generous Transportation Bill and Republican Texas Congressman Henry Bonilla who secured the funds for the school, of which is he is a longtime associate.
Now, UIC is welcome to build a parking garage if it likes, but it should do so with its own private funds, not taxpayers’ dollars. This latest usurpation further demonstrates the increasing boldness on the part of Congress when it comes to pork barrel legislation. The cigar smoke-filled backroom deals in which Members of Congress brazenly grant pork projects to themselves in election years is done with such bravado that even the subtlety is now gone.