Poll Finds Congressional Earmarks Threaten Incumbents

The Free Enterprise Fund announced the release of a national survey in which "deep voter anger over wasteful spending" was discovered.

The entire press release it posted below:

Today the Free Enterprise Fund — the preeminent force in Washington for the passage of legislation that promotes economic growth, lower taxes, and limited government — released the results of a national survey it recently conducted which show that  a majority of Americans strongly oppose budget earmarks.

While virtually everyone on Capitol Hill these days is combing the President’s Fiscal Budget for 2007 to find what they can call "good earmarks" for their home constituents, the fact of the matter is that there were 15,877 earmarks in the 13 appropriations bills for fiscal 2005, costing the American taxpayers $47.4 billion, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service.

"I don’t know what they hope to find, because the truth is there is no such thing as a good earmark. This is wasteful pork spending at its worst”, said Mallory Factor, chairman for the Free Enterprise Fund. "Remember the $223 million "The Bridge to Nowhere" project and the $1.7 million wasted for the International Fertilizer Development Center? Well, those are just two examples of the irresponsible and wasteful spending brought on by congressional earmarks."

The Free Enterprise Fund National Survey shows that 75 percent of all Americans support the idea of legislation that would reduce budget earmarks. When broken down along party lines, the same strong results are shown, with both 75 percent of Democrats and Republicans agreeing on the issue to reduce wasteful spending in Congress on special interest projects.

Currently in the Senate there is a bill, "The Pork Barrel Reduction Act," sponsored by Sen. John McCain (AZ) and co-sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn (OK). The bill was introduced on February 8th, 2006.  

The poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, which consisted of 1000 likely general election voters in the United States, was conducted between February 12th and 14th, 2006.  The party demographics of the poll of likely voters were: 36% considered themselves Republicans, 37% considered themselves Democrat and 21% identified as being Independent.