Sen. Grassley Tells All!


No, not about the sex-blog scandal currently infesting the office of Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) like so many cicadas.

Occastional Reason contributor John Berlau has a sharp piece in Reader's Digest about "the stupid ways states waste money." A snippet:

It's a vision right out of the movie Field of Dreams. Build it, and they will come. But this time, it's no ballpark they're creating in the Iowa heartland; it's an indoor rain forest. "We don't have a Gateway Arch like St. Louis or a Space Needle like Seattle," says David Oman, chief administrator of the Iowa Environmental/Education Project. "Those are special things [that] put those locations on the map." Sound ridiculous to construct a rain forest in the middle of prairie country? It gets funnier: You're paying for a good part of it, to the tune of $50 million.

Best part is that Berlau gets Sen. Charles Grassley, ostensibly a fiscally conservative guy, to confess thus:

Grassley has conceded that $50 million for the Iowa rain-forest project is "not a spit in the ocean." But he added, "if this money wasn't spent in Iowa, would it be spent in West Virginia or Alaska because they have powerful Senators on the Appropriations Committee? I'm kind of embarrassed [when] I end up helping other states, but I don't help my own state."

Whole thing here.