Cal  Thomas

Such as: $9,929,000 for projects in Iowa, home of Democratic senator and Agriculture Subcommittee appropriator Tom Harkin and Republican House Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee member Tom Latham. Included are $293,000 for hoop barns (cq) and $270,000 for livestock waste. What about congressional waste?

Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia and the king of pork, got $4,337,000 for the establishment of a Geographic Information Center for Excellence in cooperation with West Virginia University and $160,000 for poultry litter composting.

The First Tee program in St. Augustine, Fla., is receiving $2 million (in fiscal 2003 it received $500,000). According to the group's Web site, "First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation. The focus is to give young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop through golf and character education life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship." My father took me to the golf course and instilled these character traits in me without it costing the federal government a dime.

Defense and Homeland Security are attracting new pork projects that have nothing to do with fighting terrorists at home or abroad. Included is $1 million added by the House for the Young Patriots Program. According to the Defense Appropriations Conference Report, this money will help to "expand the Young Patriots Program to include a video which promotes the significance of National Patriotic Holidays." When the federal government is involved, it's always about expansion, never reduction.

Whatever the purported benefits of these projects, taxpayers should not be forced to pay for them without their consent. Read much more about this wasteful spending at Too much pork can make us sick. Bipartisan misspending won't stop until we limit the terms of those picking our pockets or force Congress to go on a diet. It's our money. Do we care enough to protest?

Cal Thomas

Get Cal Thomas' new book, What Works, at Amazon.

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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