The boys at the Tennessee Center for Policy Research have released their second annual Tennessee Pork Report
, claiming to have identified more than $125 million "in waste, fraud and abuse" of tax money by the state government.
Among the findings: $1.2 million to subsidize failing state-owned golf courses; $352,210 spent by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development on computers they never used; and $21,279 for plush new carpet in House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh's office.
But, as is the case with a lot of reports from these so-called conservative think tanks--which seem to be popping up everywhere there's a computer and a fax machine--their ideology taints their facts and makes it less likely that anyone will do anything about whatever they might have uncovered.
The report kicks off with the usual right-wing bashing of funding for the arts. Did you know the legislature gave a whopping $7,000 to the People's Branch Theater in Nashville, which in May featured "a sexually charged version of the ancient Greek farce Lysistrata." My blood boils!
Just as predictably, the report decries spending on TennCare. "Compared to other Medicaid programs, TennCare is disproportionately large," it complains. Really? I thought that was a good thing. It means more people have health insurance, right?
And guess what? Education spending is wrong: "From expanding Tennessee's bureaucratic pre-kindergarten monopoly to pouring more money into state universities and community colleges, education-related requests for tax dollars never cease." Too bad it takes public money to run a public education system.