Supporting the Troops or Laying on the Lard?

Posted: April 3, 2007 by April Watkins in Current Events, Military, Our Government, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

QUESTION:  What’s a four letter word that taxpayers loathe and politicians hide?  PORK.  Nothing like good, old government waste hidden beneath the verbiage of bills in Congress.  Frankly, to be fair to the pork producers, LARD would have been a much better moniker, but I digress…   

 

The White House has asked for an emergency war supplemental bill to be approved which would fund necessary military supplies.  This request for $103 billion would go towards ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as replenishing military funds and supplies that had been depleted in the wake of the multiple natural disasters [i.e.  hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.]; all of which required extensive assistance from military assets.   

This past week, the government watchdog group, Citizens Against Government Waste [www.cagw.org], exposed the details of the proposed bills from both the House and the Senate.  Included in both versions of the emergency military bills is enough pork to provide barbeque for Memphis In May for decades. 

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared her newly Democrat-controlled Congressional majority the “most ethical Congress in history,” some might find it a tad hypocritical to learn that this same group has added enormous amounts of pork to a bill designed to assist our troops during a time of war with superfluous projects such as: 

  • $283 million for the Milk Income Loss Contract program;
  • $74 million for peanut storage costs;
  • $60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath River region in California and
    Oregon.

Not to be outdone, Harry Reid’s Senate sweetened their version of the bill with and additional $18.5 billion which includes inane “emergency needs” such as:

  • $75 million for salaries and expenses for the Farm Service Agency;
  • $24 million to sugar beet producers;
  • $20 million for reimbursements to Nevada for “insect damage;”
  • $13 million for the Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program.

Reading through the reams of data for each of these bills you realize why most people simply say, “Whatever…let’s just get it done.”  Well, my fellow citizens, that’s exactly what the politicians want.  A simple plan that is so complex that no one wants to parse through the details to find the hidden lard.   

None of these extras have any pertinence to the emergency military funding which President Bush has requested.  These are simply bribes.  Payoffs contrived by the Congressional leadership to sway their reluctant party members who are anti-war and anti-troop-supporting, such as Rep. John Murtha, to vote for a military funding bill that both, Pelosi and Reid, fully understand is a true critical necessity.   

So why does this matter to me, you ask?  Because it’s YOUR money – YOUR tax dollars being spent on these frivolous pet projects.  To me, this practice of pork smacks of fraud on the American taxpayer and we should tell Congress to lay off the lard….and that is Why It Matters. 

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