What is pork barrel politics?

What is pork barrel politics? This refers to government spending intended to benefit constituents of a politician in return for political support, either in the form of campaign contribution or votes. It involves funding for government programmes whose economic or service benefits are concentrated in a particular area but whose costs are spread among all taxpayers. Public projects and agricultural subsidies are the common examples. Pork barrel originally referred to American slaves’ attempts to obtain some of the pork given to them in large barrels. Electoral prospects, especially for Congressmen, depended on how much pork they could divert to their home district.

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