"The 1981 transportation bill contained only 10 earmarks. President Reagan vetoed a transportation bill in 1987 that contained 121 earmarks, saying, 'I haven't seen this much lard since I handed out blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair.' In 2005, Congress passed a transportation bill that included an astonishing 6,371 earmarks at a cost of $27.3 billion.
The American people understand that transportation earmarks often have more to do with a politician's re-election campaign than the true priorities of each state's department of transportation. While proponents of raising the gas tax are right that 'we can't have a bake sale for bridges,' we can have a pig roast. Spending less on pork will go a long way toward improving the safety of our roads and bridges. If Congress had directed the money we spent on pork in the 2005 highway bill to maintenance we could have repaired more than 30,000 structurally deficient bridges."
- Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, 9/7/07