There may be good reasons why your federal tax dollars are helping to support the Please Touch Museum (search) in Philadelphia or Formosan Subterranean Termite research in New Orleans. But chances are, nobody asked if you'd like to support these causes.

Same goes for thousands of other pork barrel projects contained in the 2004 Omnibus spending bill. All told, these projects add up to $23 billion. The definition of pork barrel projects is simple: Politicians using federal tax dollars to pay for local projects to which they can point out when running for re-election back home. These projects amount to free advertising for the incumbents.

And that's one reason why so many incumbents get re-elected. What troubles some observers is that the number of pork barrel projects have increased from less than 2,000 projects five years ago to well over 10,000 in today's budget. That's an increase of over 500%! Now, $23 billion can be easily overlooked in a $2 trillion budget. But if you'd like to take a look, the Heritage Foundation (search) has highlighted these projects on their web site.

And that's the Asman Observer!


 

David Asman joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 1997 and currently serves as host of "Forbes on FOX," a weekend half-hour program that offers an informative look at the business week (Saturday from 11:00-11:30 AM/ET). Asman is also an anchor on FOX Business Network, where he co-hosts "After the Bell" (4-5 PM/ET) with anchor Melissa Francis.