Thursday, November 10, 2005


posted by Rob at 2:44 PM

The Porkbusters movement grew from the waters of New Orleans, as bloggers put a microscope to federal spending and asked, should that money be better used elsewhere or not used at all?

I never found an outlet for myself to get involved. No one carries a brighter flashlight than The Professor.

Well, today I read news that my great alma mater has secured $1 million in federal grant monies that will go toward the Appalachian Enology & Viticulture Services Center at Appalachian State University. The center is meant to get the college in the ever booming wine industry here in North Carolina.

I will not argue with the merits of the project. What amazes me is the thickness of the spending bill in which it is buried. I burned an easy 30 minutes trying to find the full text of the FY06 Science, Departments of State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Conference report. I finally found it here.

You eyes will cross reading it. A sample:
For necessary expenses of the Drug Enforcement Administration, including not to exceed $70,000 to meet unforeseen emergencies of a confidential character pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 530C; expenses for conducting drug education and training programs, including travel and related expenses for participants in such programs and the distribution of items of token value that promote the goals of such programs; and purchase of not to exceed 1,043 passenger motor vehicles, of which 937 will be for replacement only, for police-type use, $1,686,457,000; of which not to exceed $75,000,000 shall remain available until expended; and of which not to exceed $100,000 shall be available for official reception and representation expenses.
I have no idea what that means, other than $1.6 billion is being spent. And this is just *one* paragraph in a looooonnnnnnggggg bill.

Scan down to SEC. 613 to find the Appalachian State check, which is buried - and I mean buried - under stacks and stacks of federal expenses. A small excerpt:
... $600,000 shall be available for the Maryland Technology Development Corporation for the Minority R&D Initiative; $1,000,000 shall be available for the University of West Florida's Statewide Small Business Development Center Network; $200,000 shall be available for the Nevada's Commission on Economic Development; $1,000,000 shall be available for the Clark County Department of Aviation, Las Vegas, Nevada to study and operate the international air trade show; $250,000 shall be available for the Corona-Elmhurst Center for Economic Development, New York ...
You can scan Google for a list of where a little of this is actually going.

I guess Delay was right. No fat to cut anywhere. That said, I support the Fiscal Watch Team Offset Package.


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