Our public officials in Washington spent tax dollars like a bunch of drunken sailors in 2009, leaving taxpayers with a monstrous $12 trillion national debt hanging over their future. But who truly stood out as the worst custodian of your hard-earned money last year? Cast your vote for CAGW’s 2009 Porker of the Year!

Online voting is available at http://www.cagw.org/porkeroftheyear/.

Chosen by CAGW staff from among the 2009 Porkers of the Month, the nominees are:

*”Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), for posing a multiple threat to taxpayers:” He ranked first in earmarks in the House in fiscal year 2009 with 44 projects costing $256.8 million; routinely abuses an already-stretched defense budget to reward favored contractors; and has obstinately supported funding a wasteful and unnecessary alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter over the Pentagon’s objections.

*”Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), for grossly misrepresenting the costs of healthcare reform legislation”, which elicited loud guffaws at a town hall meeting with his constituents last summer.

*”Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), for expressing outrage that AIG employee bonuses “rewarded failure,”” while championing the TARP financial bailout and for years defending the shoddy business practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are now in taxpayer conservatorship.

*”Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), for requesting 149 pork-barrel projects at a cost to taxpayers of $1.6 billion in authorization” and appropriations bills for fiscal year 2010 — thereby personifying the tiresome hypocrisy of some members of Congress who want to claim the badge of fiscal conservatism while continuing to abscond with billions of dollars in wasteful pork projects.

*”Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, for presiding over the distribution of tens of billions of tax dollars for transportation projects” in the economic stimulus package, despite his long-standing reputation as a top porker while serving in the House of Representatives from 1995 until 2008.

*”Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), for reminding taxpayers that members of Congress still have not banned the practice of naming projects after themselves” after she provoked a tussle with House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) over her intention to build a “Monument to Me” by obtaining an earmark for the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center.

Friend, CNBC promoted our 2009 Porker of the Year poll on Monday, January 11, and the network plans to broadcast the results in early February, so cast your vote by January 31 to help CAGW decide who will receive the “dishonor” of being named 2009 Porker of the Year!

‘Thomas A. Schatz is the President of Citizens Against Government Waste, which is the nation’s largest taxpayer watchdog group with more than one million members and supporters nationwide. It is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Donations to CAGW are tax-deductible as charitable contributions to the extent permitted by law. For more information about CAGW, visit our website at www.cagw.org. Make a tax-deductible contribution today to support CAGW’s waste-fighting efforts that have saved taxpayers $1.08 trillion.’

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