February 01, 2004

The Other, Other White Meat?

The true-blue conservatives are bitching and moaning about all the pork-barrel spending by the administration. On the other hand, one man's wasteful spending is another's critical mission. They all complain about the $50K for shiitake mushroom research at the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center. After all, a fungus named "shi(i)t" is just asking to be made fun of. But damn it, I like the big bags of fresh shiitakes at 99 Ranch for $3.95. Beats the hell out of those boring white button mushrooms. Adds nice texture and flavor to any stir-fry. Although for soups you still can't beat the huge thick dried shiitakes that mom brings back from Hong Kong.

$50,000 is small potat... err... mushrooms, compared to $520 billion for the Medicare drug benefits plan. This was up from the estimate of $400 billion a few months ago, when Bush was trying to ram the program through his own party in Congress. The plan isn't even due to come into effect until 2007, so if we extrapolate based on the current rate of increase in the estimated budget the true cost of the plan will be... [warning: integer overflow error]. Oh well, whatever the actual cost is, I'm tracking the Big Pharma stocks looking for a buying opportunity. You get the government handing over wads of tax (or bond) money to the pharmaceutical companies, who then turn around and give that money back to the stockholders tax-free. What a winner.

Posted by mikewang on 10:24 AM