The Hattiesburg American Editorial, 3/3/9

When is an earmark not pork? When it is in your own back yard. It’s always the other guy’s earmarks that are wasteful, disgraceful and an affront to taxpayers.

So it goes when it comes to the $410 billion omnibus spending bill that the House passed last week and is expected to be approved by the Senate this week.

Mississippi will be getting hundreds of millions of dollars if this is passed. Locally, the University of Southern Mississippi and the Richton Salt Dome will benefit.

As the bill now stands, the salt dome is slated to get $31 million; the university will get at least $6.2 million, and the West Fourth Street widening project will get $1.9 million.

Sen. Thad Cochran, Mississippi’s senior senator and the ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee, has been responsible over the years for earmarking billions of dollars toward the state. He’s not slowing down now. “The … funding that will be directed to Mississippi will do much to help our state recover from the economic downturn we face,” Cochran said.