Catfish oversight, weather radios and a Christmas tree tax: Meet the pork-filled $956 BILLION Farm Bill

February 8, 2014

The federal government pays for a $15 million ‘wool trust fund,’ runs a $170 million program to protect catfish growers from overseas competition, sets aside $3 million to promote Christmas trees, funds another $2 million to help farmers sell more sheep, and plunks down $100 million researching how to get Americans to buy more maple syrup.

And that spending is just three one-hundredths of one per cent of the Farm Bill that President Barack Obama signed Friday in Michigan.

Liberal and conservative watchdogs alike are hopping mad at what they say are pork-barrel projects included in the five-year agriculture spending law as home-state perks to lawmakers that are unneeded or redundant.

There’s a new 15-cent levy on every live-cut Christmas tree, a proposal that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack had blocked but will now be beyond his control. Tree growers will put the money into a fund for ‘industry-funded promotion, research, and information program[s],’ but the cost will inevitably be passed on to consumers.

4 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • Art Hock says:

    Big ears strikes again!

  • David in MA says:

    Time for the federal government to remove itself from subsidizing and let the markets find their own level, tax imports to help level the field.

    1. Goober says:

      What!? Tax G E after they went through all the trouble to move most of their factories to china so they wouldn’t have to pay high Taxes here?? Surely Ye jest?

      1. empty pockets says:

        Oh, my. Our Big Brother, the Federal Government, has more appendages buried Unconstitutionally in more orifices…er, I meant offices than there are dollars in the annual deficit. Whyever would they give that up? Who will make them…and why haven’t they? Still, if they did tax imports then consumer costs go up just as Obama-doesn’t-care is hitting hard. Misery index through the ceiling. Nope, though gov’t needs to get out of the business of picking winners and losers (too often losing) no one who could end it is willing to actually weild the axe.
        Anyway, Goober is right. No way G E’s efforts to shield profits from taxes here by moving most operations to China (so they could get a sizeable handout from their buddy, too)…no way that’s allowed to go sour.
        But hey. What are dreams for? Imagine if those companies who moved to China (and elsewhere) to lower their taxes instead of staying and supporting candidates who would have lowered taxes for ALL of us…imagine imports were taxed as ours to their countries are. Imagine those companies saving all that corporate tax money then end up paying it to the same government via a different tax–import duties!
        What a hoot. Can I dream or what?

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