This document, a fourteen inch tall pile of papers, was handed to the politicians on the same morning as the supposed vote. An excellent place to hide lots of juicy surprises for those damn east coast elitists and others who forgot to kiss the boot of George Bush. Still, some examples of these surprises are leaking out (possibly because of their juiciness). Here's Senator McCain on the topic:
Mr. President, there is over $11 billion in unrequested, unauthorized, run-of-the-mill pork projects contained in the 1,182 pages of this conference report. Let's go through some of the more interesting provisions:
• $200,000 to the West Oahu campus of the University of Hawaii to produce the "Primal Quest" film documentary.
• $225,000 to the Wheels Museum in New Mexico.
• $7.3 million for Hawaiian Sea Turtles.
• $6 million for Sea Lions in Alaska.
• $450,000 for the Johnny Appleseed Heritage Center in Ohio.
• $100,000 to the State Historical Society of Iowa in Des Moines for the development of the World Food Prize.
• $200,000 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, for the Rockin' the Schools education program.
• $1 million for Mormon cricket suppression in Utah.
• $450,000 for an Alaska Statehood celebration.
• $225,000 for an Hawaii statehood celebration.
• $175,000 to a city in Missouri for the painting of a mural on a flood wall.
• $90,000 for fruit fly research in Montpellier, France.
• $225,000 to Traverse City, Michigan, for the restoration of an Opera House.
• $250,000 for the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum.
• $200,000 to the Town of Guadalupe, Arizona, for the construction and renovation of a shopping center.
• $325,000 to the City of Salinas, California, for construction of a swimming pool.
• $100,000 to the city of Macon, Georgia, for the renovation of the Coca-Cola building.
• $100,000 to the City of Atlanta for the renovation of Paschal's restaurant and motel.
• $900,000 to an economic development association in Idaho to continue the implementation of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial commemoration plan.
• $175,000 to the City of Detroit for the design and construction of a zoo.
• $238,000 to the National Wild Turkey Federation. Speaking of Wild Turkey - you almost need a bottle of it in order to swallow the lack of fiscal discipline in this bill.
• $200,000 for the City of North Pole, Alaska, for recreation improvements. I guess Santa had a tough year and the elves need a little help from the American taxpayer.
• $100,000 for restoration of the Jefferson County Courthouse Clock Tower in Washington State. I'm sure that this is a beautiful clock tower, but probably not what most taxpayers have in mind when they think of economic development, as this project is characterized.
• $220,000 to the Blueberry Hill Farm in Maine for renovations. For $220,000, I can only presume that somebody will be getting their thrill on Blueberry Hill!
Oops! There's also pressies for the Fox News Network and the other big media boys. So what is not covered? Well, the excellent Head Start program, the only government funded program that has continuously been found to provide excellent value for money and long-term benefits to the tune of seventeen dollars saved for each dollar spent; that one will be cut! Also, Pell grants will be made more difficult to get so that fewer students can go to college:
The government moved to change its formula for college aid last year, but was blocked by Congress. Now, however, no such language appears in the appropriations bill lawmakers are considering, clearing the way for the government to scale back college grants for hundreds of thousands of low-income students.
Nearly 100,000 more students may lose their federal grants entirely, as Congress considers legislation that could place more of the financial burden for college on students and their families.
Aren't we lucky to have this great bunch of politicians supporting every move that George manages to think out, while at the same time busily portioning out pork to their funders while the poor children are told to educate themselves by tying their bootstraps around their necks?