Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sea Turtles, Red Snappers & Loons . . . Oh my!

Drastic measures need to be taken in drastic times. What part do our legislatures not understand?

Don’t get me wrong, some earmarks are good and needed; others in this economy should be shelved. Such as $1.7 million for pig odor research in Iowa, Alabama receives $800,000 for genetic research on catfish, and Hawaii gets $2 million for the "promotion of astronomy”, $300,000 for migrating loons in Nevada, $3,000,000 for a footbridge in St. Louis, $1,000,000 for red snappers in Florida, $380,000 for a Lighthouse in Maine, and $7,000,000 for sea turtles in Hawaii. There are thousands of more earmarks like this.

People are losing their homes, jobs, and watching their pensions dwindle. Unemployment is the highest we have seen since the Depression, many are watching their benefits run out, who aren’t even considered a statistic once their off the unemployment roles.

This is money that could be used to offset or lower property taxes, create jobs, and extend benefits.

Explain to someone their job couldn’t be saved even though we had $1.7,000,000 for pig odor research, a person who can’t find work why we spent $7,000,000 on sea turtles, or to someone who is living in the street that we had $800,000 for the genetic study of catfish but there wasn’t enough left to lower your property taxes, tell a family who can’t afford to buy medicine for their child but there was enough for a $3,000,000 footbridge.

We can as a country can afford to reduce medical costs, we have the money to lower property taxes, but when funds are spent on unneeded or wasteful projects just so a congressman can say they brought money into the state or their district is ludicrous.

I believe our representatives have it backwards, perhaps if Federal and State funds were to go towards medical, housing, creating jobs, and building the infrastructure of our cities, whatever was left would then be earmarked for pet projects .

In New Jersey $451, 000 for cranberry and blueberry research will not help a large portion of its citizens out of the morass government got us into.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s just the ear or the whole hog, what’s significant is that it’s still pork in spite of what the terminology is.

~ Joe Sinagra

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