TIGER, Pork Included in the Senate's Transportation Sausage - Hit & Run : Reason.com:
"The Senate Committee on Appropriations passed a transportation budget Thursday that includes $550 million in funding for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.
Reason has covered TIGER on multiple occasions, pointing out how the supposedly temporary economic recovery measure quickly morphed into a permanent, maladministered and heavily politicized program, which has sent a total of $5.1 billion to everything from a disastrous streetcar project in Atlanta, to decidedly non-mobile trees and street murals in Los Angeles.
..."In general, most folks like to get free stuff, and most senators like to please their constituents," he tells Reason, adding that if Senators "have a program they can kind of game and make it as beneficial to themselves as possible, they're going to stick it in the budget."
One thing senators have certainly excelled at—particularly those on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Transportation—is gaming TIGER grants for their own benefit.
The chair of the Transportation subcommittee, Sen. Susan Collins (R – Maine) brought home $10 million in TIGER grants last year...
...This ability to funnel federal dollars to decidedly local projects is certainly good politics.
A small number of constituents get the benefits, the Senators get the votes, and the taxpayers get the bill.