Pork or Vegetables (The Mega-Billion Dollar Debate) Part 1 (Obama Bill)

Here are my comments on what the GOP calls pork or could it really be a vegetable?

My definition of pork(politics): Immediate solution. May seem tasty and satisfying yet later down the road it could cause you serious problems.

My definition of vegetable (politics): Solution that takes years to implement and special care to grow. May seem nausious to swallow yet it is good for you.

My definition of processed(politics): Middle ground between pork and vegetable.



•$2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient. 

Vegetable: You cannot let years of research and development at Southern Illinois University Carbondale go to waste. In my short attendance at SIUC I did have time to learn about the goals of making clean coal to help utilize an energy source that has been avoided because of its harmful emissions. With this new technology being tested many plants can be upgraded instead of being replaced. Also, this bill would create more construction jobs and engineering jobs!

• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

Processed: Hollywood is not hurting as much as the finance industry yet a tax break could inspire more projects to be greenlighted.

• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.

Vegetable: The conversion date is unfair to consumers and many would lose basic access to public television which is a REQUIRED medium for communication(Storm warnings, weather, local news) if you don’t have internet access. 

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).

Processed: Creates work for engineers and could help lower maintenance cost of coast guard ships although it is not a high priority.

• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

Vegetable: “constructing” requires Construction workers

• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

Vegetable: Bails out the industries that depend on commercial property and residential property sales.

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

Processed: Only if the requirement would be American car makers then this would be a vegetable. Reducing emissions would help in the future so consider this meal as gettting a Ham 6″ from Subway.

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD’s.

Vegetable: Better protection means more youth to work for the future. More work for RN and other related fields.

• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.

Vegetable: Creates work for waste disposal engineers and helps us achieve green 

• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.

Processed: Only if the Washington sewer system needs an upgrade. Nevertheless, creates construction work.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.

Vegetable: Keeps the historians employed 

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

Vegetable: Creates more work

• $75 million for “smoking cessation activities.”

Processed: destroys another industry yet for the better of american way of living. Would require resources(people)

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.

Vegetables: Yes. Not everyone can afford a computer which can help out low-income families and students.

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.

Vegetables: Keep the FBI employed because they will continue to weed out the corrupt.

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.

Vegetable: Purchasing of Alcohol has gone up because stress is high. We’re going to need something in place that will help people who are succomb to alcohol abuse.

• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.

Vegetable: Prevents further disasters and creates more construction jobs. A definite win!

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.

Vegetable: After what happened in 2006-2008 we need to revisit our entire infastructure.

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings.

Vegetable: reduce operating cost of the government

• $500 million for state and local fire stations.

Vegetable: We need to keep the public service employed

• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.

Vegetable: The terminator and he state needs funds to prevent another 2008.

• $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs.

Vegetable: keep the youth active and educated. They are the tomorrow

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.

Vegetable: more work for construction workers

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.

Vegetable: more work for construction workers

• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.

Vegetable: that’s a requirement, more work for construction workers

• $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Vegetable: Teens spend lots of money

• $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.

• $850 million for Amtrak.

Vegetable: yes Amtrak is just another branch of the government that many people depend on. 

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.

Processed: Not a high priority yet gives chemical engineers some work

• $75 million to construct a “security training” facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

Vegetable:  Creates construction work and keeps department of security trained 

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.

Vegetable: In preparation for better transparancy of the government

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.

Vegetable: Brings us to the goal of our ending our dependence on oil


So where’s the Pork?

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