Rick Santorum knows a thing or two about federal spending

Rick Santorum knows a thing or two about federal spending

Feb 20, 2012

SantorumWin1 Rick Santorum knows a thing or two about federal spending

Rick Santorum may believe in low taxes and spending, and National Taxpayers Union may have given him an A grade, but there are a few instances of irresponsible spending and pork-barrel projects on his resume.

Below are five votes that led to greater federal spending, which GOP voters conveniently forget, or haven’t bothered to research.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2011

Rick Santorum was one of the sponsors of George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act of 2011, which sought to increase accountability in education across the country. In doing so, it elevated standardized tests to the ultimate barometer of academic achievement; a comical means by which to judge students, teachers, administrators and schools.

NCLB increased Department of Education spending from $56 billion in 2002 (the year NCLB went into effect) to $67.12 billion in 2007, Santorum’s last year in the Senate. In 2011, the Department of Education was being funded to the tune of $71 billion.

Earmarks

Rick Santorum was certainly not the most active pork-barrel politician, but he was undoubtedly good at the practice. With congressional earmarks, Santorum used the federal treasury—American taxpayer money—to economically fuel Pennsylvania, no doubt as a favor to campaign donors for re-election purposes. Santorum is said to have secured approximately $1 billion in earmarks during his Senate career.

The former senator may sing hymns to capitalism, but he’s certainly something of a socialist when it comes to the free market. Let’s just call him a firm believer in corporate welfare.

Department of Homeland Security

Santorum, sticking to the usual GOP party line, unleashed some of the biggest spending in the history of the US with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Since 9/11 the US has spent $635.9 billion on defending the “homeland.”

Bridge to Nowhere

The infamous Alaskan “Bridge to Nowhere” would have connected the town of Ketchikan with Gravina Island (home of an airport and 50 permanent residents). Representative Don Young and Senator Ted Stevens pushed for federal funding, and Santorum obliged in the Senate.

The cost for this bridge? $398 million. That is some serious pork-barrel spending, demonstrating at least one of two things: 1) Santorum is an idiot, and 2) He will do anything to help fellow GOP members.

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