Alleged "pork-barrel" spending can be found here in Memphis

If you want federal money for a project you have to jump through a lot of budgetary hoops, unless that project is added to a Congressional spending bill. It's called pork-barrel spending.

Take a look at how the folks here at Rhodes College and others here in the Mid-South made out with millions.

As wildlife-rich wetlands along the Wolf River wear away, the Army Corp of Engineers will get more than four million of your tax dollars from the Feds for an erosion control project.

"All of those things are at risk now, so we're trying to preserve a natural treasure really for this area," said Robert Anderson, with the Army Corps of Engineers.

It's one of nearly 10,000 pork-barrel projects in this year's federal budget red-flagged by one watchdog group for securing funding though political connections rather than competitive process.

Despite a 10-trillion dollar federal debt, Lawmakers from the Mid-South used their clout to push through funding for dozens of pet projects this year including,$18 million for a new control tower at Memphis International Airport, and two and a half million dollars for improvements to the Beale Street Landing.

Meanwhile, Rhodes College got one million dollars for a mentoring program which will send 500 Memphis City School students to NASA's Space Camp in Alabama.

"Most people are advocates for education, most people are advocates for higher education playing a bigger roll in educating schools in their communities," said Dr. Russell Wiggington at Rhodes College.

Worthy or not, watchdog groups say paying for projects with pork ultimately hurts more than it helps. Tennessee ranks 34th for pork-barrel spending at just over $151 million this year.

Nationwide pork projects will cost taxpayers $29 billion.