Buckeye Institute’s “Piglet Book” Offers Reforms for Ohio | Citizens Against Government Waste

Buckeye Institute’s “Piglet Book” Offers Reforms for Ohio

The WasteWatcher

Each year, states pour billions of dollars into wasteful, corrupt, or unnecessary projects with little to no accountability.  Thankfully for Ohioans, however, there is a path to fiscal sanity.  On April 4, 2023, the Buckeye Institute released their 2023 Piglet Book, which offers numerous ways for the state to reduce spending and create a brighter future for taxpayers.  The proposals in the Piglet Book would cut $648 million in spending from Governor Mike DeWine’s (R) proposed budget and reduce tax expenditures by $2 billion. 

In 2002, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) launched its series of state Piglet Books, working with public policy groups like the Buckeye Institute.  Today, many of these organizations continue to publish these valuable reports with permission to use CAGW’s trademark, revealing where wasteful spending can be eliminated in their states, and providing valuable resources to legislators and taxpayers.  The Piglet Books were inspired by CAGW’s Congressional Pig Book, which since 1991 has exposed pork-barrel earmarks in the federal government’s annual appropriations bills.

According to the Buckeye Institute, Gov. DeWine’s budget would spend $103.33 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2024 and $99.97 billion in FY 2025.  The Piglet Book provides lawmakers with proposals to cut wasteful and inefficient programs while also closing tax loopholes that decrease the state’s revenue.

One of the core reforms proposed in the Piglet Book is reducing corporate welfare.  The elimination of select corporate subsidies, the Buckeye Institute found, would lead to more than $120 million in savings.  In addition to reducing the burden on taxpayers, ending corporate welfare would prevent the government from favoring “politically connected” industries and companies at the expense of all others.

A second major reform proposed in the Piglet Book is the elimination of earmarks.  Long a scourge at the federal level, earmarks in Ohio increase “the state’s budget with local and parochial projects that do not benefit all Ohioans.”  Earmarks at any level of government allow politicians to curry favor with local interests at the expense of taxpayers elsewhere in the state.  Instead of paying for hyper-local projects with state funds, lawmakers in Columbus should focus on projects that benefit the entire state.  According to the Buckeye Institute, the elimination of earmarks in Ohio would save $161 million.

The recommendations in the Piglet Book would help to keep Ohio’s economic future bright.  As the federal government continues to spend trillions of dollars with abandon, it is up to states like Ohio to take the lead and put taxpayers first.  Members of the Ohio General Assembly should strongly consider the reforms offered in the 2023 Piglet Book.  Eliminating tax loopholes, corporate welfare, and earmarks would save the state hundreds of millions of dollars and put Ohio in a strong position to plan for the future.  As the Buckeye Institute argues, it is time for lawmakers in Columbus to “resist the temptation to overspend today instead of preparing for tomorrow.”