Ho, ho hold on there! That’s a quarter-billion in just two years. And he doesn’t show any remorse. Instead, Rogers lavishly spends to help his poor Eastern Kentucky district, he says.
Does anyone have any evidence that this taxpayer-backed Pork Fest has done anything to revive the economy in Mr. Rogers’ 5th District neighborhood or anywhere east of Lexington?
No, but it’s done a lot to help him.
In November, he got re-elected for the 16th time. He rarely faces opposition.
In a demonstration of sacrilege akin to replacing Santa with Scrooge, former Gov. Paul Patton took Daniel Boone’s name off a parkway running through the district and put “Rogers” on it — a Porkway!
But please don’t equate all of these “accomplishments” with Hal being taxpayers’ pal.
“Hal Rogers has never been a friend of the taxpayer,” said David Williams, vice president of policy for Citizens Against Government Waste, a spending watchdog in Washington, D.C.
Rogers swears he’s a changed politician. He’s going to put the federal budget on “Pork Watchers.” He’s gotten the message: The taxpayers are as mad as kids finding coal in their Christmas stockings, and they’re not going to take it anymore.
The possibility of a politician changing from Citizens Against Government Waste’s “Porker of the Month” in August to a lean, mean tax-saving machine by Christmas is about as likely as Saint Nick sucking down a Slim-Fast bar rather than the milk and cookies left near the chimney.
“Appropriators are hardwired to appropriate, much like retrievers are hardwired to catch rabbits and bring them back in their teeth,” said Ross Baker, Rutgers University political science professor.
Rogers earned “Porker of the Month” after sponsoring a bill this year to give $5 million annually to conservation groups protecting cheetahs, lions and Ethiopian wolves in other countries.
One group interested in applying for a chunk of this wild (spending) game is Allison Rogers, the congressman’s daughter and grants administrator for the Namibia-based Cheetah Conservation Fund.
What a coincidence, hey!
And now you have a good ol’ boy politician known as one of the “old bulls” in Congress in charge of spending most of the taxes you pay. Talk about an Ethiopian wolf in the hen house!
Rogers says he’s changed. Yet, he told reporters about doing “a little jitterbug in the office” when he found out that his vigorous behind-the-scenes campaigning and fundraising earned him what he really wanted to become: Washington’s Chief Stocking Stuffer.
That’s why I didn’t bother to ask for “an old reindeer that learns new tricks” on my Christmas list.
Not even Santa can do some things.
Editor’s note: Jim Waters is vice president of policy and communications for the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank.