Green Pork

In addition to tens of billions of dollars in the House stimulus bill for infrastructure and other projects to create jobs, there are also funding items that appear to do the exact opposite.  For example, the House stimulus bill contains $175 million dollars for Natural Resource Conservation Service to purchase conservation easements in floodplains.  Funding for the program would effectively be spending tax dollars to pay farmers to stop farming.  Not only would such conservation easements not be creating any jobs, they actually would likely be doing the opposite by taking farmland out of production.

What makes this funding even more egregious is that removing farmland from production tends to increase food prices.  What makes this provision seem even more out of place is the House stimulus bill also includes $200 million in funding for Senior Nutrition Programs, claiming the programs need additional funding due to “rising food costs.”  If Congress was really concerned about rising food costs one would think that they would be less eager to take farmland out of production.