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  • Department of Agriculture

    USDA Says Don't Eat Meat, and Then Buys Meat

    When does the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) say you should eat meat? It depends on the day. On July 23, the agency’s interoffice newsletter, Greening Headquarters Update, encouraged employees to participate in the “Meatless Monday” initiative that was supposed to help the environment. Three weeks later, on August 13, … More

    More Obama Donors Benefit From USDA's Latest Loan Guarantee

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a large loan guarantee to a biofuel company whose investors donated handsome sums to the Obama campaign. Some of them have even visited the White House to discuss federal job-creation efforts. Taxpayers will guarantee a $105 million loan for Fulcrum Sierra BioFuels, a … More

    Toll-Free Entitlements: States Make Food-Stamp Benefits Easily Available

    A new Government Accountability Office report reveals that in more than 40 states a growing number of households are able to collect food-stamp benefits simply by receiving a government-issued brochure or accessing a toll-free number. For example, in states like Alabama, Hawaii and Montana, a brochure automatically triggers eligibility in … More

    USDA Gives Millions to Farmers Who Aren't Actually Farming

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has doled out millions of dollars in subsidies to farms on which farming isn’t actually taking place, according a new report from government watchdogs. Billions more have gone towards supporting farms that don’t grow the crops for which they’re being subsidized. USDA gave nearly $3 … More

    More Government Welfare Doesn’t Equal Poverty Relief

    A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture states that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, more commonly known as food stamps) helps “alleviate” poverty. Essentially, the report says that by including the dollar amount of food stamps as part of a family’s income, fewer families are considered poor—or … More

    House Oversight Hearing Shines Light on Food-Stamp Fraud

    Food-stamp fraud and the government’s failed attempts to stop it were the focus of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing yesterday. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) called the hearing in response to a Scripps Howard News Service investigative report exposing widespread abuse. The investigation revealed that retailers who lost … More

    Agricultural Marketing Fees: Not Just for Christmas Trees

    Yesterday, after word got out (via a post here on the Foundry) regarding new “mandatory fees” on Christmas trees imposed by the Obama Department of Agriculture (USDA), the White House moved quickly to suspend implementation of the new tax. The fees, which were supported by an industry group called the … More

    Morning Bell: Obama's Christmas Tree Tax

    Christmas is more than a month away, but the Obama Administration just couldn’t wait to hang a shiny new ornament on every fresh Christmas tree in America: a 15-cent tax to support a new federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees. Following a public outcry, the White … More

    Obama Couldn't Wait: His New Christmas Tree Tax

    President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees. In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David … More

    How Much "Cash for Caulk" Do We Need?

    Congress is back, but before Members head home again to campaign, they have to first do what they do best: spend other people’s money. Today, Congress will vote on the Rural Energy Savings Program Act, H.R. 4785—a bill that would authorize $5 billion over five years for the Department of … More