(Liberty Headlines) It could be that the reason so many Americans think the federal government wastes a lot of money is that the federal government spends a lot of money in ways most people would consider wasteful.

Witness the National Mango Board.

Yes, a federal board to promote mango consumption (and do some research into mango-related topics).

Judicial Watch, usually known as a public corruption watchdog, highlighted this board in a January 9 report as an example of government largesse that is “unlikely to [represent] a pressing issue for most Americans.”

Nothing against mangoes, but most people might wonder why a federal agency – in this case, the Department of Agriculture – needs to be promoting any particular type of produce for domestic consumption.

Judicial Watch notes the Mango Board’s $6.7 million budget, highlights its production of a 38-page report on the best temperature at which to transport the perishable fruit and informs readers that the 18-member board is appointed directly by the Secretary of Agriculture and overseen by an entity known as the Agricultural Marketing Service.

In the grand scheme of things, $6.7 million is a drop in the bucket, or mango basket, in a total federal budget of $4.1 trillion.

Further research shows it isn’t even really that much money in terms of ordinary taxpayer dollars.

The board’s budget comes not from general tax revenue, but from “assessments” on mango imports and on large-scale domestic mango producers.

In other words, the mango industry funds the National Mango Board – but of course, those costs are passed on to consumers.

Federal agents do oversee the collection of the assessments, and (as noted above) the federally funded Agricultural Marketing Services do provide oversight for the Mango Board and others of similar nature.

The incremental costs for those federal services are probably small, and not readily quantifiable.

In a statement, the Mango Board Executive Director Manuel Michel said that taxpayers aren’t even on the hook for those expenses: “Our organization uses its own resources and reimburses the government for any time and money they spend in working with us.”

Still, critics like Judicial Watch imply that it’s a legitimate question to ask why this board, or others like it such as the National Honey Board, the National Peanut Board, and the National Popcorn Board, needs federal government support or oversight at all.

The “Specialty Crops Program” at the Department of Agriculture is, after all, ultimately funded by taxpayers.

2 comments
  1. Interestingly written article. What exactly does it say? The headline says $6.7 million in federal funds go to mango promotion. But the text says the mango producers pay for the promotion and all federal administrative costs. So, the body of the article strongly disagrees with the headline. Which is it?
    I daresay the author knows that federal funds are not used, but chose the headline to create “click bait” and strong reactions, even though he writes a text that contradicts it. So, the author is good either way. It is sad that this type of contradictory writing is justified by the too-frequent tagline, “still, there are those who would question this…” Please do your research. Report accurately. Thanks.

    1. The author did not write the headline, I did as the editor. The Feds are spending $6.7 million promoting Mango production which they in fact are.

      If I wrote “$6.7 Million of taxpayer money spent on promoting Mango production” then you would have a point, but I didn’t, so you don’t.

Comments are closed.

Get CT In Your Inbox!

Don't miss a single update.

You May Also Like

Ransom By Any Other Name Is Still a Ransom Paid to Iran

State Department spokesperson John Kirby acknowledged that a $400 million settlement made with Iran was held until the release of four American citizens.

Judge Roger Vinson Declares Obamacare Unconstitutional in Florida Case, Voids Entire Law

U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson ruled for the plaintiffs (the State…

At The End of the Month the US Will Turn Control of Internet Over to ICANN

Congress has until September 30th to prevent the U.S. Department of Commerce from handing control of the internet over to the global organization ICANN.

Grassley Discusses History of Oversight: Independence Day

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) speaks about the important role government transparency plays in preserving our American heritage in a special Independence Day video address.