Something Else for Taxpayers to Grouse About

Almost no one in the media or either party could find any alternative in the ongoing budget crisis but to raise the debt ceiling even further, precipitating the credit rating downgrade by establishing that in effect there is no ceiling. Serious spending cuts were never regarded as an option. Meanwhile, here’s how the government is spending the money:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is paying $112 million in tax money to farmers and ranchers in 11 Western states to restore the habitat of the Sage Grouse, a bird that has not been listed as either threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species law because the government says there are too many of them.

Given the absurd redundancy that characterizes all aspects of the federal government, it’s hardly surprising that five separate programs are shoveling money at farmers and ranchers in the name of the unendangered sage grouse.

Here’s what gravy train passengers have to do or pretend to do to get the free money:

According to [Agriculture Secretary and confirmed moonbat Tom] Vilsack, ranchers will be paid to implement practices such as: using “sustainable grazing systems” to improve hiding cover for birds; moving “high risk” fences near breeding sites to reduce bird collisions and removing invasive trees from grasslands to allow “re-colonization of otherwise suitable sage-grouse habitat.”

Maybe they can get a double payoff if after they cut down the trees, they plant new trees to save the polar bears from harmless carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, the sage grouse have been flourishing.

In fact, according to a 2010 notice in the Federal Register, state-regulated hunting of sage grouse is permitted in all but one state, Washington.

The farm lobby doesn’t mind soaking up other people’s money, as if any free lunches sent out from the federal Death Star won’t turn out to have strings attached:

Rick Krause, senior director of congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation, said as long as the effort remains voluntary, it has Farm Bureau endorsement.

Voluntary? I don’t recall volunteering to pay for this insanity.

Unendangered sage grouse all over the place.

On a tip from Cargo Pilot. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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