In the spirit of David Letterman, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Wednesday unveiled his "Top Ten" examples of pork in a major farm policy bill now on the Senate floor, arguing that the plan is filled with giveaways to various industries and agricultural producers.
The 1,000 page "Farm Bill" is the perfect legislative foil for McCain, who enjoys every chance he can get to find interesting provisions in bills that seem to benefit certain interests.
For example, McCain has already filed an amendment to strike out language in the bill that seems to benefit popcorn growers in Nebraska.
“There isn’t a kernel of evidence that shows they need this support from the taxpayers," McCain said in a familiar jab at his colleagues.
A number of different examples of Farm Bill largesse - in McCain's opinion - pushed him to put up a "Top Ten" on Twitter of what he considers the most egregious provisions in the Farm Bill.
"#1 - Creates new USDA office to inspect catfish. FDA already inspects catfish, so this one’s a real bottom-feeder.
#2 - $200 mil Market Access Program promoting brands overseas. Example: Holding "liquor mixology demonstrations" in Russia.
#3 - $25 million to study health benefits of peas, lentils and garbanzo beans. Pretty sure they’re healthy.
#4 - Subsidies for mohair (AKA goat wool), which have cost taxpayers $20 million+ since 1954
#5 - New subsidy for popcorn producers. Yes, popcorn subsidies - after popcorn prices rose 40% in recent yrs.
#6 - $10 million to establish new USDA program to eradicate feral pigs. Talk about pork!
#7 - $15 million to establish a new grant program to “improve” the U.S. sheep industry. A ba-a-a-a-a-a-d idea.
#8 - $700 million for “Ag and Food Research Initiative” funding grants to research pine trees in FL & study moth pheromones
#9 - $40 million in grants from USDA to states to encourage private land owners to use land for bird watching or hunting
#10 - $200 million for “Value Added Grant Program” often used to give grants to wine producers (& cheese makers too) "