5 famous pork projects: Beer museum and more

Coined from an 1863 story called “The Children of the Public,” pork-barrel spending referred to any public funds spent to benefit the public. Over time, the term has evolved, referring to projects seen as wasteful, or that may only benefit a small group but the costs are spread out between all taxpayers. Of course, often, one politician's pork is another politician's legitimate expense.

The Citizens Against Government Waste puts out an annual "Congressional Pig Book" that listed 9,129 projects at a cost of $16.5 billion in 2010..

Here a selection of US "pork" projects from recent years:

1. Bridge to Nowhere

Courtesy of Bob Weinstein
Then-Gov. of Alaska Sarah Palin holds a T-shirt with the zip code for Ketchikan, Alaska, on it at a gubernatorial campaign forum in September 2006.

This infamous bridge, from Revillagigedo Island to Gravina Island in Alaska, would’ve cost $190 million and was sponsored by Republican Rep. Don Young in 2003. The project – intended to make travel to Ketchikan, Alaska’s airport easier with a bridge instead of a ferry – was so controversial it was eventually scrapped by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in 2007.

Source: Taxpayers for Common Sense

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