New York would actually be a winner under an earmark ban, because research by my Cato Institute colleague Brandon Arnold shows that when it comes to the distribution of pork, no state fares worse than New York.
In 2009, New York taxpayers contributed just over 8.2% of the overall federal tax burden. It would be reasonable to expect a similar percentage of earmarked dollars to flow back to the state. In reality, New York received only about 2.1% of total earmarked funds. As a result, the Empire State has the dubious distinction of being the nation's biggest "earmark donor" state.
New York is not alone. Unbelievably, 90% of the US population resides in an earmark donor state. In addition to New York, taxpayers in 34 other states and the District of Columbia are essentially picking up the tab for 16 "earmark beneficiary" states.. . .
Just as earmarks have achieved notoriety for wasteful and ineffective spending, community development programs funded through traditional means have had the same problem.
Examples from New York abound. The city of Utica spent CDBG funds on a variety of improper uses, such as $902,799 on a marina and $255,158 on ski chalet renovations. The city of Troy used $1.6 million to lure a hockey team to the city. And Niagara Falls and Lockport used $12 million to build an amusement center, which shut down after just six months of operation. . . .
. . . the goal shouldn't be to get the state of New York an equal share of federal subsidies that go to state and local governments, be it earmarks or grants. Rather, the goal should be for New York and the rest of the states to reassume responsibility for their own affairs. [emphasis supplied]
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Utica's Cameo Appearance . . .
. . . in a Cato Institute report: Why New York Shouldn't Mourn Earmarks by Tad DeHaven.