Annual ‘pork’ report could expose more than $500 million in wasteful spending

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 2:48pm
Staff Reports

With an annual report that could expose more than $500 million in wasteful government spending, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR) will release the 2009 Tennessee Pork Report: “Waste, Fraud and Abuse of Your Tax Dollars Exposed” on Wednesday.

This fourth annual Tennessee Pork Report from Tennessee’s free market think tank, in conjunction with Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) — the nation’s premiere taxpayer watchdog — reveals wasteful spending by state and local bureaucrats and elected officials in Tennessee.

Speakers at the 11 a.m. event in the Senate Library at the state capitol will include TCPR President Drew Johnson and CAGW Vice President for Policy David Williams.

The Tennessee Pork Report contains nearly 100 examples of wasteful spending by state and local governments, according to TCPR. The publication also recommends many areas of government where wasteful spending can be eliminated.

While copies will be distributed at the press conference, the report will be available online at and

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing concerned citizens, the media and public leaders with expert empirical research and timely free market policy solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee.


5 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 5/25/09 at 7:27

It will be interesting to receive this report. I wonder if the news coverage in print & television will be more than a page 12 paragraph. One item I see all the time are government vehicles which are very often much larger than they need to be, whether automobiles or pickups. Why is a much more expensive, gas burning V8 used when a much smaller 4 cyclinder would perform the task?

By: imdyinhere on 5/26/09 at 5:14

Free-market think-tank?

Isn't that a contradiction of terms?

By: Time for Truth on 5/26/09 at 8:38

I can think of one project alone that will waste more than half a billion of public money.

By: pandabear on 5/26/09 at 9:55

That's right.

Let's not forget the wonderful job the top management folks
have done at TVA.

That's over $1billion right there.

Keep up the great work.

Maybe you guys can polute ALL of TN if you really work at it.
I know you've got the mental power.

By: Brian Owens on 5/28/09 at 2:11

I take issue with the TCPR report which, annually, calls investment in the arts "a waste of taxpayer dollars." This is generally nothing more than proof of their agenda.

They point to the Nashville Film Festival as one of their points of waste. The Tennessee Arts Commission granted NaFF $29,000 in 2009 - a "waste" according to the TCPR.

For that $29,000 investment in the festival, the following economic impact occurred.

From the 23,000 attendees of the festival:

Overall economic impact: $1,145,150
Full Time Equivalent Jobs: 31
Household income generated: $629,307
Local Taxes generated: $53,785
State Taxes generated: $56,283.

These numbers are calculated by using an average expenditure per attendee outside direct festival activities (hotels and flights for visitors, restaurants, parking garages, shopping, gasoline, etc.). Each attendee spends nearly $50 on OUTSIDE business when they attend an arts/cultural event (the formula is created by Americans for the Arts and the National Governors Association).

The state alone received a return on investment of 194%. If you include revenue created for the city, the rate of return is 380%.

Investment in the arts creates jobs. Jobs create income for Tennesseans. Those with work spend their money and pay taxes.

The elimination of what the TCPR considers waste will eliminate many jobs.

These are all convenient facts they overlook as they put out their "well-researched" report.

There is such a thing as government waste. I simply wish the TCPR would attack legitimate waste instead of continuing to pummel not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations who not only stimulate job growth but develop the cultural landscape of the state of Tennessee.