The Obama Administration may not be 100% serious when it comes to protecting our borders from foreign invaders, but when it comes to protecting us from foreign catfish, well, now that’s totally different.
You may have thought that Ted Stevens’ giant salmon of a private plane was the most spectacular fish-related waste of taxpayer dollars in history, but you’d be wrong. It turns out that the government’s handling of real fish -specifically, catfish – dwarfs that million-dollar monstrosity.
A special interest provision tacked onto the 2008 Farm Bill mandated that the USDA inspect all imported catfish. Proponents, who unsurprisingly included those with a stake in the American catfish industry, cited safety concerns as the reason behind the program, patriotically claiming that protecting Americans from bad foreign catfish was as important, if notmore important than protecting them from foreign terror groups…
A post by the Taxpayer Protection Alliance’s David Williams details the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) subsequent ruling that USDA oversight of catfish would result in regulatory overlap and fragmentation and lead to increased regulatory costs.
The price tag for U.S. taxpayers? A minimum of $30 million per year.
Big Government refers to the program as the “Catfish TSA” and that’s basically what it is: a special USDA task force designed to inspect all of the foreign catfish who make their way to our shores on a daily basis. Of course, the USDA – and Congress – doesn’t tell you that, as it turns out, foreign catfish are already inspected and that the catfish are actually considered a “low-risk” threat. No kidding.
Take that in for a minute. Congress is basically asking taxpayers to shell out an additional $30 million per year to double-inspect catfish that aren’t actually dangerous. They’re just basically like the Russel Brand of fish. Foreign, annoying, slightly shifty looking, but basically harmless to American society as long as you keep them away from alcohol. Not that the fish consume alcohol. But you know what I mean.