MY LIFETIME FOCUS REMAINS THE HUMANITIES. AFTER MANY YEARS OF ACADEMIC WRITING AND A TWO-YEAR LAYOFF FROM BLOGGING, I HAVE RE-KINDLED MY INTEREST IN THE NONFICTION GENRE. I ENJOY POSTING A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AND WELCOME ALL COMMENTS FROM READERS.
During the decline of the Roman Republic, politicians realized that in
order to stay in power all they had to do was to give the people what they wanted,
like free bread and more gladiator games (I don't think they gave Roman school childrenColiseum tours back then). Twenty-first century American politicians
are far more sophisticated (The jury is still out on the people). They promise more
jobs and better infrastructure.
I have always believed that lavish government spending is just a modern
ploy to stay in office. Thus, I decided to do a little research on the question
of government waste to see if there really was any hope. What I found should
shock citizens on both sides of the aisle. Here are some ridiculous examples of
wasteful government spending:
$146 million in flight
upgrades, so federal employees do not have to fly coach.
$200 million for a reality show
in India to advertise US cotton.
$141,000 to fund a Chinese
study on swine manure.
$505,000 to promote specialty
hair and beauty products for cats and dogs.
$121 million to host Department
of Justice conferences.
$97,000 for floating outhouses
for the convenience of Oregon fishermen.
$11,700 for “Star Wars Day.”
$520,000 to fix the Stevenson
Road Covered Bridge in Green County, Ohio, which was last used in 2003. The
bridge does not lead anywhere.
$27 million for Moroccan
$25 billion annually maintaining unused or vacant federal
$3.3 million to bail out a
failing Alaska tourist boat.
$15 million to create private
sector jobs in Russia for Russian scientists.
$750,970 grant to Smuttynose Brewery (that made a $5 million dollar
profit last year) to build new brew tanks.
$639,884 to study new forms of beef jerky for our troops.
$505,000 to Sergeant's Pet Care Products (that earned $140 million in
revenue last year) to create pet toothpaste and shampoo.
$450,000 to keep Lake Murray
State Park Airport open. Planes do not land there, but the money was earmarked.
$325,000 to San Diego State
University to create a Robot Squirrel in order to study interactions between
squirrels and rattlesnakes.
$230,000 on Smokey the Bear
balloons and statues for festivals.
$35,000 to Fullerton Public
Library in California to install library book lending machines in train
$25,000 for The Alabama
Watermelon Queen promotional tour.
$20,000 to teach students how
to juggle, hula hoop, and perform circus tricks.
$200,000 for a tattoo removal
program in California.
$190,000for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Wyoming.
$75,000 for the Totally Teen Zone in Georgia.
$500,000 to Alaska Airlines to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing
$100 million of taxpayer money lost on unused flight tickets by
federal employees. The tickets were refundable, but they did not bother to
collect the refund.
$1.8 million to help build a private golf course in Atlanta.
$2 billion paid annually by The Federal Conservation Reserve
program to farmers not to farm their land.
enough? I can find another $1 trillion dollars in a half hour. I guess there is
only one answer: Raise Taxes!