One of my favorite organizations is Citizens Against Government Waste. Each year the group publishes a "Pig Book" in which it details some of the waste, fraud and abusive spending that goes on inside our federal government.
The 2002 pig book is just out. It finds that total pork hidden in the 13 federal appropriations bills passed last fall is a record $20.1 billion. A lot of extra spending was added after September 11 and, as Senator John McCain has said, has nothing to do with security.
Some examples: $25 million for the International Fund for Ireland; $14 million for the Hollings Marine Laboratory in South Carolina; $8.4 million for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in New Mexico; $5.67 million for wood utilization research; $2 million for kilns in south-central and southeastern Alaska.
Any or all of these projects may be worthy, but why does the federal government have to pay for them? Ask your congressman and senator, who probably has a piece in this pie. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.