Leave Our Grapes Alone Senator Coburn!
A federal Senator from Oklahoma says subsidies to local wineries should be cut. Republican Tom Coburn, a medical doctor and Southern Baptist deacon, has compiled a 200 page document titled: Waste Book 2012. The Senator says at least $1.5 million went to vineyards and wineries this year.
The wide scope of Coburn’s hit-list is surprising — from a NASA space-food program to public transport schemes. It confirms the Senator has a sense of humor but raises serious doubts about his capacity to discriminate between a waste of money and stimulating growth. Or which industries he could target for wasteful use of subsidies to find significant savings.
Rather than take aim at big agricultural industries like corn, soy and wheat producers who consume billions and billions of dollars of federal subsidies each year (see EWG Farm Subsidies for details) Coburn takes aim at easy targets – the little guys in the local wine industry. On his hit list for receiving funding from $50,000 up to $300,000: Belle Joli’ Winery in South Dakota; Olde Chautauqua Vineyards, New York; The Homeplace Vineyards, Virginia; The Vineyards at Dodon and, Crow Vineyard & Winery, both in Maryland; and the Crow Vineyard & Winery in Maryland.
The Senator won re-election in 2010 and cannot be voted out of office until 2016.