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Agriculture Secretary Defends $1.2M Ham

You may have heard the report from the Drudge Report about some suspicious sums being spent in the name of ‘economic stimulus,’ according to the White House’s own tracking site, Recovery.Org:

(Click to enlarge.)

Luckily, the Secretary Of Agriculture, Mr. Vilsack, is not going to take such outrageous misrepresentations lying down.

He has issued the following press release on (the $18 million dollar) Recovery.Gov:

Response to Drudge Item on Recovery Act Funding

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

"Through the Recovery Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made $100 million available to the states for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which acquires food that is distributed to local organizations that assist the needy – including food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens.

The Recovery Act funds referenced in press reports allowed states to purchase ham, cheese and dairy products for these food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries that provide assistance to people who otherwise do not have access to food. This program will help reduce hunger of those hardest hit by the current economic recession.

The references to "2 pound frozen ham sliced" are to the sizes of the packaging. Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.191 million to buy "2 pounds of ham" are wrong. In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191m, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound. In terms of the dairy purchase referenced, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) purchased 837,936 pounds of mozzarella cheese and 4,039,200 pounds of processed cheese.

While the principal purpose of these expenditures is to provide food to those hardest hit by these tough times, the purchases also provide a modest economic benefit of benefiting Americans working at food retailers, manufacturers and transportation companies as well as the farmers and ranchers who produce our food supply."

Regardless of the details, how does buying food for the poor stimulate the economy?

It just goes to show how much we were hoodwinked and bambozzled about what the stimulus package was all about.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 20th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

39 Responses to “Agriculture Secretary Defends $1.2M Ham”

  1. U NO HOO says:

    Delicious for Chanukah?

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “Regardless of the details, how does buying food for the poor stimulate the economy?”

    PJ O’Rourke: “You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.”

    Nor, I would suppose, food.

    • U NO HOO says:

      Teach a man to fish and you can sell him rods, reels, hooks, bait and lines for the rest of his life. That’s capitalism.

    • Steve says:

      “Teach a man to fish and you can sell him rods, reels, hooks, bait and lines for the rest of his life. That’s capitalism.”


      That’s a classic.

  3. proreason says:

    Is there any part of the Depression Stimulus bill that actually does stimulate the economy.

    Next I expect to hear that Stimulus actually meant exciting teenagers to have sex so they don’t get depressed about not having jobs.

    Don’t laugh…….we have already been told that it wasn’t intended to work quickly, even though it had to be passed by Congress in 24 hours. My revisionism makes more sense then theirs.

    • pdsand says:

      That’s aside from all the ridiculous talk about “shovel ready” we had to put up with.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Shovel ready means they will put us in our graves.

    • jobeth says:

      “Shovel ready means they will put us in our graves.”

      Man! Is that ever true with the Obalmy no-care for the old or disabled.

  4. pdsand says:

    What…no arugula for the needy?

    • U NO HOO says:

      Give a man arugula and you feed him for one dinner party.

      Teach him to grow arugula and you have the makings of a farmers’ market.

  5. untrainable says:

    If we’re going to spend this kind of cash to feed the needy, shouldn’t we be feeding them bean sprouts and tofu and all that other low fat, low cal, low taste crap that is supposed to be good for us? Smoked ham has WAY too much salt to be healthy, and $16M for “canned ham” should be listed in the dumb-o-crat torture menu as a crime against humanity.

    • proreason says:

      Canned bacon has been perfected:


      But it will never be part of the give-away program.

      They would lose too many valuable voters.

      And the voters who would like the canned bacon the best would probably be the ones who vote the most times (per election).

    • U NO HOO says:

      Didn’t some bimbo pundit wish that Clarence Thomas’ wife would feed him lots of bacon so he would have a heart attack, die, and be off the SCOTUS?

    • pianogirl88 says:

      U NO HOO ~ that would be Miz Julianne Malveaux, who is billed as a “speaker, economist & thought leader” on her website.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      With all this pork floating around ……..where be the pigs feet?
      Why aren’t the feet on the gubbamints give-away program? You gotta wash them feets down with something so hows about Old English 800 or Colt 45 added to the stick ’em up list?
      Talk about buying (pandering) votes ………..

  6. wardmama4 says:

    Untrainable – you are on the track I was – ‘water-added’ ham (and as you said, smoked/canned ham) are among the most unhealthy of the meats going.

    I thought that the point of feeding the impoverished was to stave off starvation until they got back on their feet, got a job, got an education or left America – which means rice, beans, cheese, potatoes and of course oats – all cheap, easy to get out in bulk sizes and does not encourage long term ‘assistance’ –
    Now they are into sliced ham? Get ’em hooked and then force ’em to buy their own –

    I’m beginning to think that every one else in America really is stupid – to buy into this crap left, right and straight on.

    Bet we also see massive ‘increase’ in these types of ‘stimulus’ programs or ‘stimulus’ spending if The One’s ™ poll numbers keep going down.

    Of course I wonder how the American people are going to respond when The One ™ just sends another stern letter after some Taliban wackadoodle hacks off the head (does the Taliban do that, or is that just an al Qaeda recruiting stunt) of our young PFC Bergdahl? Might that just make people wake up to how vapid this man who would be King is?

    • Odie44 says:

      Not only is canned ham extremely unhealthy – the number 1, 2 3 ailmetns within minority and poor community’s are 1) heart disease, 2) diabetes and 3) hypertension (with asthma as a close 4th)

      Now that Bambicare is being sold as “wellness prevention” – shall we ask the golden question: ” How the hell is spending millions to feed the poor a healthy, wellness action that stimulates the economy.

      Oh – and as someone pointed out on Hot Air – avg price per pound the gov paid for ham: $1.69. Avg price for a pound of ham at Food Lion; .79.

      Wasteful, unhealthy, nonstimulating Pork to the masses. It would be funny, if it weren’t so true…

  7. xomorrison says:

    That picture explains it all

  8. MinnesotaRush says:

    Now .. that’s a lotta pork! Expensive pork!

  9. Mae says:

    I’m as cynical about our socialist government as the next S&L reader. I do have one legit question re who did Aggie buy the ham, cheese, etc. from? If it was directly from mom and pop farms/ranches, then wouldn’t that stimulate the small farm economy? If it was from the mega-producers, then they did not need stimulating. And those stimulators hiring drivers to run all that product to the give-away centers do create a few day-jobs. So there is a stimulus here; just not a permanent job-creating stimulus which the stimulata was supposed to stimulate. Where do I go to sign up as a stimulatee?

    • proreason says:

      Frankly, Mae, the whole concept of a stimulus is bogus bullshit.

      A “stimulus” is simply borrowing from the future to generate some economic activity today, with the assumption that the people will be stupid enough to think the money is flowing because things are rosey.

      But the mere act of calling it a stimulus lets everybody know it’s temporary, so what people do when they get the siren signal that a turd is in the bowl is to hunker down and save every dime they can.

      They would be better off to call it “Don’t Spend Anything Notice”.

      But of course, the criminal politicians had no intent to help the economy. The whole crap package is just payola for the Chicago Thug’s captains, with the additional “bonus” of increasing the economic turmoil so they can shove more of their communist agenda down our throats and loot the country.

      If they really wanted to stimulate the economy, they would cut taxes and/or government, because cutting taxes and reducing expenses is much more permanent that pork barrel spending on roadsigns.

      You might note what successful businesses do in bad economic times. They cut costs. Period. They don’t spend money they don’t have like drunken sailors.

      So although your point may be valid, it’s only valid in relationship to a ludicrous fallacy.

  10. BigOil says:

    Vilsack’s handling of this issue is a bit ham fisted.

    Once again, we are reliving the Carter years – version 2.0. We have progressed from government cheese to government pork.

  11. Oracle says:

    Just brings new meaning to the terms Pork Barrell spending….and did I not see that there were purchases of Processed and Mozzarella cheese…Now we know for sure there really is Goverment Cheese. I was laid off during all this and never got my ham and cheese sandwich! God help us all :O

  12. BillK says:

    Now, now, you’re all lookiing at this wrong.

    Somewhere a ham company (that donated to various Democratic politicians) got paid $2.5m.

    Of course it’s a one-time stimulus payment, but somewhere someone got paid off back…

  13. Lurkin_no_mo says:

    On the bright side, this Prez makes Jimmy Carter look smart. Maybe we could have another Reaganesque type Prez in 4 years.
    “Ya know that war against Muslim Extremists? What if we win it?”

  14. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Did anybody catch the $1.4 million to repair a door? Did they commission Brunelleschi to decorate it?

    • pdsand says:

      I saw that I started to give the benefit of the doubt, and think that was maybe an airplane hangar door, or a 20 foot thick blast door at NORAD or something. But then that of course begs the question, what would either of those have to do with economic stimulus?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      It does, pdsand!
      The contractor who got the money is economically stimulated to the point of arousal.

  15. Gila Monster says:

    Good point Banned. How about the $351k to repair a dumbwaiter? Who the hell has or uses a dumbwaiter in this day and age?
    Just fire em’ and get a smarter one for Pete’s sake…….. ;o)

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Good one, Gila .. reminds me of the fellow who went to see his shrink naked and wrapped up in cellophane from top to bottom. When he got to the doc’s office, his shrink said, “Well .. I can clearly see you’re nuts!”

      Ta da, da …

    • DW says:

      Actually, I’m doing much better now MR
      (I now wear Christmas wrap -like a proper gentleman…)

  16. GL0120 says:

    People need to wise up and see this as an example of the “Savings” we hear about in TCO’s health care plan.
    The price of ham (by the way, that picture was an old joke), the 1.4 million dollars to fix a door, the dubwaiter, they’re all examples of what happens on government projects.
    Fraud is rampant on such projects, the vendors are typically relatives of those running the project and cost is no object.
    We’ve heard horror stories of $25 aspirin billing from hospitals but hold onto your hats, that will seem like the good old days!

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