Pork Barrel Funding in Katrina-Ravaged Louisiana

It is amazing that it takes a natural disaster to expose the weaknesses of our government. The Gulf Coast of the United States was devastated by two major hurricanes, with one being catastrophic in nature. Hurricane Katrina completely wiped out cities off of the map and turned them into instantaneous third world countries.

Now, three months after Hurricane Katrina, two Louisiana senators (i.e. members of the board of directors) are each proposing a bill requesting $250 billion to rebuild the hurricane ravaged areas. What is going to get your blood boiling is how they plan to spend this money if they get this bill passed. They are planning on using your hard earn money that we pay in the form of taxes for pork. This is wasteful and irresponsible spending and they must be held accountable, much like the shareholders of a large corporation holding the board of directors and executives accountable when they don’t perform. This same concept exists here.

This is a perfect example of how our elected officials are not acting in our (i.e. the shareholders) best interests. This is nothing more than a wish list by exploiting a tragedy and taking advantage of those that lost everything. This is not helping our fellow Americans who lost their livelihood. This is absolutely selfish. Would we be doing a disservice by allowing them to give money to do this? The money raised needs to be given to the people that lost property in the hurricane ravaged areas, such as the casino boats in Mississippi.

Yes, Louisiana and Mississippi need to be rebuilt. This is contrary to what some people are saying that we should not do. However, a system needs to be put into place that will make sure that our tax dollars are spent wisely and given to the people that need it. What if these two senators would have said this in their bill? “We want to give every homeowner who lost their home $100,000 to rebuild it.” I would be ok with that, and evaluate their performance on how well these homeowners receive their money to rebuild.

Giving $8 million for alligator farming is not how you would want your hard earned tax dollars spent. These two senators need to be held accountable much the same way as the board of directors of a major publicly held corporation. This would be a challenge since the majority of those that we the people vote to represent us are not even business people. Most of them are career politicians or lawyers. We know that these types of people don’t know how to run a business as you can see the results so far.

Oink! Oink!
There is no doubt that our current government is out of control when it comes to spending. Our government wants to cut spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and education. Instead, they want to allocate funds towards a meaningless wish list. Here is just a sampling of the pork barrel funding that is in this proposed bill.

� $8 million for alligator farming.
� $25 million for building a sugar cane research lab in Louisiana.
� $180,000 for peanut variety research
� $300,000 Bovine Genetics research
� $80,000 for potato blight research
� $75,000 for seafood waste research
� $2 million for a vegetable laboratory
� $1.3 million for the pasteurization of shell eggs
� $500,000 for Apple Fire Blight research
� $100,000 for Swine Lagoon Alternatives

The Responsibility of Government
The U.S. Government is the largest employer in this country. It has a classic organizational structure designed to be able to run an entire country. This is a classic bureaucracy as Max Weber envisioned it in his many works. It has a CEO (the President of the United States), board of directors (Congress), and the shareholders (the registered voters of the United States).

We the people (i.e. the shareholders) vote certain people into Congress (i.e. the board of directors) to represent our interest. This the same as the board of directors of a large publicly traded company that is supposed to represent the interests of the shareholders, the people who invest their hard earned money so that corporation can operate. U.S. citizens are much like the shareholders of a corporation in that we pay taxes from our hard earned money. The shareholders expect the board of directors and top management to spend their money in a responsible manner, and the same goes for Congress spending our tax dollars in a responsible manner. If they fail to perform these basic responsibilities, we the people can vote them out of office and put someone else in who can do the job.

It is time for us to start holding our government and the people that we put into office responsible for the way that they run the country. It is time to start holding them accountable for their actions rather than their words. So I am posing this question, is it time that we get rid of the career politician? Is it time that we start electing business people to run our country?

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