Tom Coburn does not like waste in our government and I am very glad he is out there highlighting things like the robotic squirrel program. But there are more than just robotic rodents to cut from the federal budget.
Recently he took up the various wasteful programs which fall under the USDA.
Sequester has forced (we are told) the department to cut food aid to some of our nation’s neediest. (If there is a place at all for the welfare state it is to make sure the very poorest do not go hungry.) Yet the US Department of Agriculture still seems to be able to find the money to subsidize mortgages on Martha’s Vineyard and to help wineries market themselves to wealthy urbanites.
Coburn has asked Secretary Vilsack why this is. The senator is currently waiting for the secretary’s response.
(From The Washington Times)
Mr. Coburn offered a number of places the Agriculture Department might look at cutting before it goes into big programs such as WIC, pointing to the $45,000 grant to market the Bloody Mary mix; the Indiana Soybean Alliance’s $15,000 grant to study the feasibility of producing fish food in that state; or the $213,000 a small Virginia farm was awarded to grow more strawberries, which are turned into ice cream and jellies.
Mr. Coburn also questioned the department’s decision to designate all of Martha’s Vineyard, the Massachusetts island known as a vacation spot for the wealthy, as a rural area eligible for special Agriculture Department homeowner loans.