Posts Tagged ‘pork’
June 26th, 2012 at 1:19 pm
Giving McCain His Due
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Last week, here on the blog, I went to town on Senator John McCain for what I viewed as his asinine, borderline incoherent rants about Citizens United specifically and money in politics generally. At the time, I noted offhandedly that while McCain has always been horrible on the issue of political free speech he has much to recommend him in other areas. Happily, only a week later, he’s in the news for one such virtue : his opposition to wasteful spending.

McCain was on the warpath against the waste in the Senate’s version of a farm bill passed late last week, going so far as to produce a top 10 list for Twitter of the most egregious proposed expenditures. The items:

#1 – Creates new USDA office to inspect catfish. FDA already inspects catfish, so this one’s a real bottom-feeder.

#2 – $200 mil Market Access Program promoting brands overseas. Example: Holding “liquor mixology demonstrations” in Russia.

#3 – $25 million to study health benefits of peas, lentils and garbanzo beans. Pretty sure they’re healthy.

#4 – Subsidies for mohair (AKA goat wool), which have cost taxpayers $20 million+ since 1954

#5 – New subsidy for popcorn producers. Yes, popcorn subsidies – after popcorn prices rose 40% in recent yrs.

#6 – $10 million to establish new USDA program to eradicate feral pigs. Talk about pork!

#7 – $15 million to establish a new grant program to “improve” the U.S. sheep industry. A ba-a-a-a-a-a-d idea.

#8 – $700 million for “Ag and Food Research Initiative” funding grants to research pine trees in FL & study moth pheromones

#9 – $40 million in grants from USDA to states to encourage private land owners to use land for bird watching or hunting

#10 – $200 million for “Value Added Grant Program” often used to give grants to wine producers (& cheese makers too) “

All jokes his.

Thanks to McCain, some of the provisions (like the catfish inspection) were stricken from the bill. We’ll have to wait for the legislation to be finished to see how bad the final damage is, but we already know this: the outcome will be better than it would have been had John McCain not been part of the process. For that (and for his statement, quoted in the New York Times over the weekend, that he is ““hard-pressed to think of any other industry that operates with less risk at the expense of the American taxpayer”), he deserves our thanks.

Now if only he’d shut up about campaign finance reform …

January 15th, 2010 at 4:25 pm
Senator Nelson’s Cornhusker Dilemma
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Senator Ben Nelson’s home state kickbacks are notorious.  The “Cornhusker Kickback” is firmly entrenched in the American political lexicon and now Nelson is starting to hear it from his constituents.

According to this report from Politico, Nelson and his wife were eating at a local pizza joint when one patron recognized the longtime politician and yelled, “Get him the hell out of here!”  Other customers began to boo and Senator Nelson and his party disappeared into the Nebraska cold.

It appears that this local pressure is taking its toll on not only Nelson’s approval rating but also his conscience (if politicians have those).  Roll Call reports that Nelson has asked Harry Reid to drop the infamous Cornhusker Kickback.

As Andy Roth over at Club for Growth wrote, “Nebraskans will still be forced to swallow ObamaCare AND they’ll have to pay more for it.  Sorry, Senator Nelson, you can’t unring that bell.”

January 4th, 2010 at 11:50 am
CBO Pans Latest “Stimulus”
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Lost during the health care fight in the Senate over the holidays were the votes in the House over yet another round of central planning stimulus provisions.

On its last roll call vote, the House narrowly, 217-212, passed an $180 billion “jobs for main street” bill that will exacerbate the federal deficit by another $64 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Not surprisingly, not a single Republican offered to support a third/fourth stimulus bill filled with pork-barrel spending and empty wealth transfers.  Democrats defected as well, with 38 voting “No.”

Now, the CBO has officially panned the legislation.  The final price tag over the next decade will be more than $180 billion, meaning Congress authorized $967 billion in 2009 alone for “stimulus” spending.

With all this, the unemployment rate remains at 10% and poll numbers indicate that no amount of wealth redistribution will increase Democratic majorities come Election Day.