Pork Barrel, But No Bacon

It was a throwback to another era. Despite a decade of assaults on new taxes and pork-barrel spending, the House Public Works & Transportation Committee in August readied a $153.7 billion transportation bill that included a venerable formula for political success: bringing the federal bacon home to constituents. The measure calls for a nickel-a-gallon rise in federal gas taxes, worth $33 billion over five years, and $6.5 billion in new spending on "demonstration" projects--many of which happen to be in the states of senior committee members.

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