Why is the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., getting $450,000 for "educational outreach"? This is the work of Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), whose district includes Cooperstown. The Hall of Fame Web site states that "baseball has connections to a variety of academic disciplines, including mathematics, history, geography, technology, sociology, cultural diversity, character education, economics, women's history." Apparently not steroids, however. The Hall of Fame has received $1,569,000 since fiscal 2001 for educational outreach programs. Why is this a federal responsibility?
Congress is spending $35,000 for a weight loss demonstration program for 1,000 federal employees at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. The program will use the latest technology, including a private automated weigh station to track participants' progress; daily e-mail support on nutrition and exercise; and education and detailed instruction on exercise techniques, meal ideas and motivational success stories.
It's one thing to have weigh stations for heavy trucks on the highway, but do we need weigh stations for federal employees? How about if they eat less and exercise? There, I just saved taxpayers $35,000.
The reigning king of pork is West Virginia Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd. In the current budget, Byrd slipped in $11,612,000 for projects in his state, including $4.4 million for GIS Center of Excellence at West Virginia University, $3.6 million for the Appalachian Fruit Laboratory in Kearneysville and $150,000 for turfgrass research in Beaver.
Every taxpayer should read the Pig Book. What they are doing with our money should outrage us all. Read it before April 15 for maximum impact. Congress won't stop picking our pockets for wasteful pork projects in which the federal government has no business unless they are forced to by taxpayers. Read the Pig Book and weep. Then, get angry and do something.
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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