Welfare Seekers Get Handouts While Citizens Pay
Taxpayers for Common Sense is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending. Here is their latest news update.
Taking aim with your tax dollars
Lost deep in the pages of this year's massive agricultural spending bill is $10 million to kill coyotes and other livestock predators in the Western states.
The Wildlife Services' lethal predator control program, which operates through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), was founded in 1931 to help ranchers who complained that coyotes and other animals attacked their livestock.
Today, predators account for about 4 percent of annual livestock losses and occur mostly in Western States, according to the latest USDA study. Critics of the program say it wastes taxpayer money and should be ended or paid directly by the ranchers it affects.
In its crusade to control predator populations, the lethal predator control program doles out millions of tax dollars for guns, traps, airplanes, helicopters and even explosive poison grenades. It can cost as much as $500 to kill each coyote.
Why should taxpayers subsidize Western ranchers' interests? Local ranchers should take care of their own business expenses. It's time for Congress to end this cowboy welfare.
Some of the other provisions that waste taxpayer money in the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, for FY2000:
Boll Weevil Eradication Program - ($16.2 million) This colossal federal effort to remove a specific beetle from farms in the South has proven to be ineffective. The Boll Weevil Eradication Program has been criticized for failing to stop the agricultural predator. President Clinton asked for $3.3 million for this program, but Congress wants to increase this amount by 364 percent.
Rural Electrification - ($1.5 billion) This loan program created in 1935 to provide electricity to rural America is outdated. Nearly 100 percent of the U.S. has electric service compared to 11 percent when the agency was created. Currently, there is approximately $33 billion in outstanding loans. Additionally, the government has written off billions in past loans. This amount is five times what the President requested.
Peanut Program - Consumers shell out an estimated $500 million each year as a result of the quotas, price supports, and import restrictions imposed by this Depression-era relic. While the 1996 Farm Bill finally ended direct taxpayer outlays for the program, we still pay those costs at the supermarket through artificial nonmarket prices.
For more information about TCS, visit www.taxpayer.net or contact Cena Swisher at 202-546-8500 ext. 108.
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