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Tax dollars paying for ‘marketing of livestock semen’

You can’t make this stuff up. Your tax dollars are being used to market ”livestock semen.”
Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) has put together a new study titled “Treasure Map: The Market Access Program’s Bounty of Waste, Loot and Spoils Plundered from Taxpayers.” The report released today found that the federal government has spent more than $2 billion on a program to promote private companies marketing products overseas.
The Coburn report found the following:
At the request of Congress, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has spent more than two billion dollars on the Market Access Program (MAP), a government program that uses your tax dollars to subsidize the advertising costs of profitable agriculture companies and trade associations doing business overseas. Many Americans might respond with disbelief that we are paying for private companies to market their products in the first place. That we are doing so overseas is even more troubling.
The most objectionable provision of the study found that your tax dollars are being used to market ”livestock semen” at foreign trade show and exhibitions:
Taxpayers may be surprised to learn that their tax dollars are subsidizing, among other things, the marketing of livestock semen. According to an announcement from U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc., group that received $1.1 million from the USDA in 2011, federal funds are available for “private livestock breeders, companies, or cooperatives interested in promoting livestock, semen, or embryo sales in international markets through December 31, 2010.” The group also notes that the MAP funds partial reimbursement of “approved activities such as international advertising, the development, translation and distribution of promotional materials, and participation in foreign trade shows and exhibitions.”
One Congressional Aid said that “this stimulus program is particularly popular with the livestock community.”  All kidding aside, when somebody tells you that there is no waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government, you can point to this one program as a shining example of government waste.
Other highlights of the Coburn report are $28 million to the Blue Diamond Growers to market almonds overseas, $60 million to California Wine Institute and $20 million to fund “Let’s Design,” a popular reality show in India created by the Cotton Council International.

Our nation is in debt to the tune of $15.8 trillion. Even though Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term, he has consistently racked up annual deficits in excess of $1 trillion and has exploded the $10.6 trillion debt he inherited. After all, Obama did warn us there would be “trillion-dollar deficits for years to come.”

A few million on silly programs, like using your tax dollars to market livestock semen, may sound like a drop in the bucket, yet it shows the reluctance of Congress and the President to go line by line in the federal budget to root out waste.

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