For years, homeowners have favored construction anywhere except where they live. "Not in my back yard" became a rallying cry to prevent rezoning that would allow commercial developments or public works projects that would improve infrastructure.
Now, almost everyone agrees that cuts in government spending are needed, but some groups are fighting to keep cuts away from their favored programs. Mink farmers might present the most egregious example of these protests.
Mink fur generated $350 million in sales last year. Farmers and breeders have relied on a government survey to gauge customer demand. A $60,000 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture helped the industry determine which colors of mink would be the most popular.
Sequestration stopped this wasteful spending, but an industry group, Fur Commission USA, is fighting to get the funding restored. A group spokesman told Bloomberg, "Given the amount of revenue we're bringing into the U.S. economy, I think the USDA could spend $60,000 on our reports."
There is no effort made to explain that the report serves any national interest. The mink industry simply believes the government should spend $60,000 so they don't have to.
An attitude of entitlement means the industry would rather spend money lobbying than dedicating 0.017 percent of their revenue on data. This report would cost 17 hundredths of 1 percent of revenue.
This is a small amount of money, but there are undoubtedly other government services that benefit only a small number of private concerns and should be funded by those concerns.
Unfortunately, even though the level of government spending is unsustainable, many will fight to avoid cuts that will impact them.
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