NASHVILLE – The Beacon Center of Tennessee today released its 2012 Tennessee Pork Report, exposing the fact that state and local governments across Tennessee wasted $468 million over the past year. This is the seventh annual report published by the Beacon Center, Tennessee’s leading free market think tank.
Examples of wasteful spending outlined in the 2012 Pork Report include:
- $1.5 million blown on a mansion and lavish furnishings by the head of the Upper Cumberland Development District, taking Beacon’s “Pork of the Year” prize;
- A handout worth $500,000 to build a country music museum in a different state;
- Another $1.5 million in corporate welfare to General Motors, even after its historic $50 billion federal bailout;
- $266,000 to a second car company, Volkswagen, to construct a massive sign atop its Chattanooga plant, visible only from the air;
- $50,000 to haul off dead cows in Columbia; and
- $1.3 million wasted yet again on state-owned golf courses.
“This year, state and local governments didn’t hold back when spending taxpayers’ money,” said Beacon CEO Justin Owen. “From taxpayer-funded tourist traps, one of which isn’t even in our state, to corporate welfare for massive companies, politicians went hog wild with Tennesseans’ tax dollars.”
The government waste, fraud, and abuse in the 2012 Pork Report comes from state and local government budgets, media reports, appropriations bills, state audits, and independent research conducted by Beacon Center staff and scholars.
“Tennesseans will be seeing red when they read this year’s Pork Report,” said Ben Cunningham, spokesman for Tennessee Tax Revolt, who participated in the report’s release. “Taxpayers across our state need to arm themselves with this report, because only they can hold elected officials accountable for how their money is spent.”
An electronic version of the report can be found at: http://www.beacontn.org/wp-content/uploads/2012-Pork-Report.pdf.
The Beacon Center of Tennessee is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan research and government watchdog organization dedicated to providing concerned citizens and public leaders with expert empirical research and timely free market solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee. The Center’s mission is to change lives through public policy by advancing the principles of free markets, individual liberty, and limited government.