Yesterday Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack denied reports that the Agriculture Department spent $1.2 million in stimulus funds on a two-pound ham. "Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.19 million to buy ‘2 pounds of ham’ are wrong,” Vilsack said in a statement. “In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191m, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound.” See The Hill.
The statement by Vilsack was released after the Drudge Report posted several different contracts from the government stimulus website, including some suggesting "the administration spent $1.19 million on two pounds of ham, $1.56 million for mozzarella cheese and $16.8 million on canned pork, among other items.
Here's the contract that raised more than a few eyebrows:
Strangely enough, the fact that the government only paid $1.191 million for 760,000 pounds of pork doesn't make me feel much better, especially given the spending for mozzarella cheese (837,936 pounds of it) and canned ham. As Antonio Ferrier, spokeswoman for House Minority Leader John Boehner said about the cheese and pork, “The White House was wrong when they said there was no pork in the stimulus — and at a higher price than at the average grocery store.”
To see more examples of your stimulus dollars at work, go to www.recovery.gov. From there you may click on investments and choose by recipient to see where the top 500 contracts are located in the U.S.