12 March 2011
"Cowboy subsidies" - nice one from Soothscribe Steyn
The US offers an embarass de richesse of public figures making asses of themselves in defence of whatever bit of federal spending (aka pork) benefits their patch.
This great article in NRO illustrates the point. Nevada Senator Harry Reid, the (Democrat) Majority Leader of the Senate, rose up in wrath against a Republican proposal to cut the National of the Humanities because . . . it would kill the annual Cowboy Poetry Festival held in northern Nevada every January.
"Had that program not been around", Reid thundered, "the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist".
Damn! So it's not a gross piece of rancid pork for Nevada, but a matter of life and death. Steyn explains why this is so:
Tens of thousands would not exist? There can’t be that many cowboy poets, can there? Oh, c’mon, don’t be naïve. Where there are taxpayer-funded cowboy poets, there must surely be cowboy-poetry festival administrators, and a Bureau of Cowboy-Poetry Festival Licensing, and cowboy-poetry festival administration grant-writers, and a Department of Cowboy Poetry Festival Administration Grant Application Processing, and Professors of Cowboy-Poetry Festival Educational Workshop Management at dozens of American colleges credentialing thousands of cowboy-poetry festival workshop coordinating majors every year.