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Senator Tom Coburn is out with his annual “Wastebook,” in which he questions how federal dollars are spent.

Among the 100 projects listed is improvements to the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia. Pepsico Inc. is teaming with a German company to make Greek yogurt at the facility. Coburn calls it “corporate welfare for the world’s largest snack food maker,” as Pepsico had net revenues of $66 billion last year.

The feds chipped in $1.3 million in infrastructure upgrades at the park, including a new access road and water supply system.

Coburn points out Pepsico Inc. could have paid for the work itself:

Considering the company’s billions of dollars in annual profits and the plentiful demand for the Greek yogurt nationally, Pepsico clearly does not need handouts from the government to subsidize its private business.

Also in the Wastebook:

1. Professional sports loophole, which allows the NFL, NHL and PGA to classify themselves as nonprofit organizations.

2. A federally-subsidized airport in Oklahoma that only gets one flight a month.

3. Moroccan pottery classes to stimulate the Moroccan economy. The classes were a bust, partly because the Moroccan people have been making pottery for a couple thousand years.

4. Food to be served on Mars. Yes, NASA is testing it out.

5. Robotic Squirrel. California colleges built a robotic squirrel to see how snakes react.

A previous Wastebook listed Rochester’s El Camino housing project.

One Response to Yogurt Welfare

  1. October 17, 2012 at 11:41 am Pete Tonery responds:

    I despise these ad hoc condemnations. They are childish and biased. Anybody can compile a “waste list,” especially if they are content to label items without examining the underlying details. Take the airport issue. What do we know of it? Perhaps it is the only means of getting a small, rural population to the hospital in an emergency. Perhaps there is an important mine or agricultural business that requires monthly maintenance. Is it fair to characterize any project without knowing the causal reasoning?
    At the same time it cannot be disputed that tax dollars given to profitable public or private corporations is unadulterated “corporate socialism.” As much as the conservative-corporate political matrix harps on “less government” they immediately go silent regarding the government regulations that permit them to suck up tax dollars.
    It should be noted too that corporations ultimately only look at their balance sheet and not the details on it. Tax benefits go onto the assets column and offset liabilities. In other words, tax breaks produce profits. They have NOTHING to do with the bogus “job creation” myth.

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