Journalist Mark Tapscott helps spread the word about the boondoggles perpetrated by the Department of Agriculture. But his work is being thwarted by the Super Friends of Government Transparency, the Democratic Congress.
The Ag Department manages Congress’s wretched, anti-productive policy of paying farmers to grow fewer crops. It also applies these New-Deal-era policies in the silliest manner possible — for example, by giving former basketball star Scottie Pippen $130,000 over five years not to grow crops.
Other Dust-Bowl-afflicted tillers of the field rescued with taxpayer-funded largesse include Sam Donaldson, Ted Turner, Larry Flynt and Ben Bradlee. The ridiculous payouts were exposed thanks to the efforts of a nonprofit outfit called Environmental Working Group (EWG), which posted an Agriculture Department database on its website. It obtained the data from reluctant officials by dint of the Freedom of Information Act.
Back in 2002, Tapscott reported that then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle had tried but failed to exempt such embarrassing spending details from freedom-of-information laws. Because he failed, the EWG could keep updating its database. But in 2008, the Democrats finally let the Department of Agriculture off the hook. Complying with information requests about its crazy subsidies is now “optional.”
So Aggie officials don’t bother.
Tapscott presses the obvious point: Wasn’t the new Democratic majority slated to embody the “most honest and transparent” Congress ever?
Perhaps their new slogan will be Ignorance is Strength?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.