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Jerry Shenk


Congress: An Entrepreneurial Opportunity

by Jerry Shenk
 

If you're curious about how many humorless horse lovers are out there, do what I did.

In 2010, I wrote an American Thinker article detailing some of the goofy stuff on which the 111th Congress squandered taxpayer money, among them the Restore Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act, while reassuring Congress: "The medical community does not consider 'persistent acronymia' a terminal disease, but merely an annoying one."

ROAM was a $700 million welfare program for wild mustangs which, among other provisions, mandated an every-two-year mustang census, "enhanced contraception" and birth control for mustangs and set aside 19 million additional acres of public and private Western-states land for the feral animals.

Unaware that wild horses used birth control and unfamiliar with their preferred methods, I joked that a simpler, less expensive solution to the wild mustang conundrum could be expressed in two words, "Dog Food," then added, "But when has Congress ever transformed a perceived problem into a revenue stream?" (Horse meat is also considered a delicacy for human consumption in France and elsewhere…but I digress…)

Immediately following publication and a few Facebook swarms, my inbox lit up with nastygrams from the aforementioned humorless horse fanciers, including my all-time favorite: "Shenk, you are this month's biggest (anal orifice)." I replied, "Madam, you flatter me. I'm certain that, if you were to look around just a little bit, you could find a much bigger (anal orifice) than I." She responded, "Funny! (smiley face, smiley face) But I doubt it."

Now, the AP has highlighted an item in a proposed federal budget that would permit the Bureau of Land Management to sell mustangs without buyers' guarantees the animals won't be resold for slaughter, a half-century-old presale requirement: "[Wild horse advocates] say the Trump administration is kowtowing to livestock interests who don't want the region's…mustangs competing for precious forage across more than 40,000 square miles."

Native equine species went extinct about 15,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene epoch, so modern mustangs aren't indigenous. Nonetheless, beef-eating horse lovers' sentimentality disregards that "Horse slaughterhouses are…legal in many other countries, including Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe…"

Wild mustang herds are big problems for taxpayers, cattlemen and beef consumers. From a practical standpoint, since 2010, the BLM's aggregate expenditures to accommodate the unmanageable mustang population far exceeded ROAM Act allocations, and cattlemen paying grazing fees for access to the same BLM open range land have arguably suffered even greater losses to damage done by the mustang herds. Environmentalists consider the animals destructive scourges on, rather than symbols of the American West.

AP: "The BLM asserts that U.S. rangeland can sustain fewer than 27,000 horses..." But the estimated population stands at 59,000.

On its own, this topic may generate little interest back East and other areas outside Western states, but, as an example of the new administration's businesslike, entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving, it should interest everyone, especially Congress.

"But when has Congress ever transformed a perceived problem into a revenue stream?" Here's their chance.

http://www.ldnews.com/story/opinion/2017/05/31/congress-entrepreneurial-opportunity/358740001/


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