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Heartland Bull and Heartland Pork Taste the Same - Disgusting

Wasteful spending throughout the Midwest.

by Richard 'Mr. Moo' Moore
April 18, 2004

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Heartland Bull and Heartland Pork taste the same - disgusting_Richard "Mr. Moo" Moore-Wasteful spending throughout the Midwest It’s the week where most folks in America have their minds directed at that annual event: filing of tax returns. So what better time for Mr. Moo to address another barnyard animal, the pig. Better yet, this week I am going to be addressing the bull and the pork from the heartland. Now being a low-tax libertarian at heart, this is something that bothers me more than just once a year but I wanted to share with my faithful readers, all 14 of you, my nominees for heartland porkers of the year.

Iowa is one of my favorite pork spending locations. $50,000,000 was added in conference for an indoor rainforest project in Coralville, Iowa by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). Forget for a minute that Grassley is up for re-election with a token democratic opponent. This project failed to pass in December of last year so Grassley added it to the infamous Omnibus Appropriations Bill in late January 2004. Imagine a Midwest Republican concerned about a rainforest? Not in 5 years would that ever happen but, hey this is year six which means re-election. Has Sen. Grassley ever voted for funding for research in the real rainforest? When the entire project is completed, Iowa will have the world’s largest enclosed rainforest. A former governor has said that retiring baby-boomers will cris-cross the country to see this indoor rainforest. I guess they have seen the movie Field of Dreams one too many time. Build it and they will come, hey Senator? And the tax payers will get soaked.

Thank you Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) for the $9,475,000 added for state projects. The $4.3 million for the Black Hills Mystic Lab sounds good, I’m sure to someone. But in a search using search engines galore, I found nothing that could tell me what the Mystic Lab does. There is another benefit for the SD residents: the Homesteak Opera House in Lead picked up a pittance, $375,000. I guess the tourism traffic (just a few miles from the Sturgis Rally in August) and gaming taxes (full casinos are in town) in the area weren’t enough to fund this one themselves. Oh, by the way Senator, did I mention the $1.2 million for a military readiness center in Watertown. I guess I didn’t realize that Watertown SD was a hotbed of military activity. After all it is 350+ miles from Ellsworth AFB on the other side of the state and about the same distance north of Offutt AFB in Omaha. And it is a couple hundred miles from Mr. Moo’s residence and we want to make sure I make my deadline next month, so I guess this is well spent protection. Right.

Thank you to Rep. Todd Tiahrt for the $9,965,000 for projects in his home district. After all being a member of the House Transportation/Treasury Appropriations subcommittee, should be worth something. I know that $2,500,000 for improvements to the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is something that will make air travel into Wichita less expensive and safer.

Now what would you think it would cost to landscape a half –mile attraction that bordered a river? Actually the wording of this funding project sounds like a quote from the chamber of commerce: a half-mile “swath of paths, bridges, and landscaping hugging the banks of the Des Moines River” The projected cost for this little project in Des Moines, Iowa is $15-20 million. $1,000,000 was added by the House for the Des Moines Riverwalk in the district of Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa). That’ll be a good investment for you, Congressman Boswell. It’ll be a nice place to take a walk when the tax payers find out you have been squandering their money and vote you out of office.

I’m sure Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado and other states throughout Mr. Moo’s Midwest have their own heroes of pork but I’ll leave it at that for now. For more information, check out my friends at Citizens Against Government Waste at www.cagw.org. They are in their 20th year of saving us money. Talk about good financial stewardship, a one dollar contribution to CAGW results in a $9,000 savings to the taxpayers of the United States.

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vela from Chicago, Illinois writes:
May 3, 2004
Be very careful when discussing pork barrel spending, mr. moo. It is just as distasteful to many who lean to the political left as it is may be to those who lean to the political right. As someone who leans to the left, I think an indoor rainforest is ridiculous considering, as a country, we rejected the Kyoto Treaty--even if there were flaws in the treaty, we also rejected opening talks to work out those flaws. (Perhaps we wouldn't need to enclose things such as rainforests if we were better stewards of the gifts God has given to us.)

Many politicians--on both sides of the aisle--have used inappropriate pork barrel spending to garner votes in their home districts.

Mr. Moo from Heartland, USA writes:
May 4, 2004
Vela,

thank you for reading. You nailed my point exactly. Why would someone who could care less about the rainforest in real life want a enclosed one in his district? BTW, the folks I picked on were from both sides of the aisle. Pork taste bad for the taxpayer no matter who cooks it.

I think as you read my column you will find I am an equal opportunity critic. D or R, left or right, no one gets away from the eye of the one looking for heartland bull.

Thanks again for reading.

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