Wisconsin families work too hard to let the government waste their money. In the spirit of former Wisconsin U.S. Sen. William Proxmire, I am continuing his work shedding light on government agencies and projects that waste your hard-earned tax dollars.

In the 2008 Farm Bill, a program was implemented to require the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to take over responsibility for examining and inspecting catfish. Before this, the Food and Drug Administration, which is the leading food safety monitor in the United States, had been responsible for all food safety inspections involving seafood. Instead of continuing what was already working, some decided that it was worthwhile to spend $14 million in taxpayer money every year to create a new duplicative and unnecessary program.

It is ridiculous that now teams from USDA and FDA each visit the same plant: one inspects the catfish, and the other inspects the other seafood. Instead of creating more bureaucracy in the government, we need to be finding ways to streamline programs and increase efficiency. This program has been the subject of at least ten nonpartisan Government Accountability Office reports, calling it “duplicative” and at “high risk” for fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement.

The people of Wisconsin shouldn’t foot the bill for duplicative and wasteful programs. I will continue to keep a close eye on how the government is using taxpayer money and fight against government waste.

Democrat Ron Kind, La Crosse, represents Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District.

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Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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