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Pork Alert: House Department of Agriculture

CAGW's Pork PatrolSM takes a closer look at fiscal 2011 Agriculture pork

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its preliminary analysis of the House version of the fiscal year 2011 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. There are 192 projects in the bill, costing taxpayers $143,890,000, which is a 40.4 percent decrease from the 322 projects in fiscal year 2010 and a 34.5 percent decrease from the fiscal year 2010 cost of $219,700,000. House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) added $9,155,000 for nine projects, a number surpassed only by House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who added nine projects at a cost of $9,439,000.

"The US forest products industry accounts for approximately 6 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, placing it on par with the automotive and plastics industry. The industry generates more than $200 billion a year in sales and employs more than one million people earning $54 billion in annual payroll."

Here are some outrageous examples of wasteful spending that members of the House added to the bill:

  • $4,545,000 for wood utilization research in 11 states by 10 representatives, including Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), in violation of the Republican earmark ban. According to the website of the American Forest and Paper Association, "The US forest products industry accounts for approximately 6 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, placing it on par with the automotive and plastics industry. The industry generates more than $200 billion a year in sales and employs more than one million people earning $54 billion in annual payroll." Taxpayers should not be sapped into subsidizing¬†another multi-billion dollar industry. This research has cost taxpayers more than $100 million since 1985.
  • $2,494,000 for climate forecasting in Florida by House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) and Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.). Spear-headed by Florida State University (2008 endowment: $570 million), the Southern Climate Consortium program "aims to use long-term climate forecasting to develop useful information for Southeastern farmers." Perhaps this program can also help members of Congress forecast the furious political climate created by subsidizing research at large state universities that hardly need the money.
  • $1,026,000 for potato pest and disease research by House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wisc.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Reps. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) in Maine, Maryland, and Wisconsin. In 2009, the United States Department of Agriculture valued American potato production at $3.45 billion. The industry should stop pestering taxpayers and pay for its own research.
  • $793,000 for the Center for Innovative Food Technology in Toledo, Ohio by House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio). One of the center's publications is "The Sweet Life in Northwest Ohio," a guide to chocolate, candy, and coffee retailers in the region. Federal handouts make anyone's life a lot sweeter.
  • $349,000 for swine and other animal waste management research at North Carolina State University by House appropriator David Price (D-N.C.) and Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), and Brad Miller (D-N.C.). Congressman Price's website notes that "better research in livestock waste management would improve public health, benefit the environment, and assist farmers." Managing the massive waste on Capitol Hill would have an even greater effect on public well-being.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

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