Still Porking up
But They Left Our Borders Open

Instead of beefing up intelligence, and border patrol--we have only one boat to monitor our Canadian, the other one is broken and they haven't got they funds to fix it--congress, both Democrats and Republicans porked up the Farm Bill just days after the attack. Even as U.S. warships steamed toward the Persian Gulf.

Last year congress failed to provide enough funds to properly maintain coverage of our Canadian borders. Yet on September 13, as is the case every year, the Senate adopted the Fiscal Year 2002 Commerce, Justice, State and Judiciary Appropriations Bill.

Consider just a few of the items the Senate approved:

$2 million for the Oregon Groundfish Outreach Program

$850,000 for Chesapeake Bay Oyster Research

$204 million for the Advanced Technology Program, a corporate welfare boondoggle

$6 million for the National Infrastructure Institute in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

A brand-new bill to expand farm subsidies one year before the existing spending plan expires. The Farm Security Act would increase agricultural pork by $73.1 billion over the next 10 years. This bill authorizes $101 million for honey producers. The once-terminated wool and mohair program rises again, $202 million strong. Peanut farmers can expect $3.48 billion. This bill also would revive $37.1 billion in "counter-cyclical assistance" which was scrapped in 1996.

The U.S. Agriculture Department released a study last month that describes these subsidies as spectacularly wasteful and fundamentally unfair. Forty-seven percent of agricultural payments go to commercial farms with average household incomes of $135,397, more than two and a half times the average American household's $51,855 in earnings. According to the Associated Press, just 10 percent of farm owners shared 63 percent of last year's $27 billion in federal agriculture payments. Media tycoon Ted Turner received farm aid, as did Portland Trailblazer Scottie Pippen.