Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Trump: The First 100 Days

                One of the first things President-elect Trump should do in his initial 100 days in office is cut the budget of 100 federal agencies by 10%. In his next 100 days, he should think about completely dispensing with many more. He won't, but he should.
                Draconian, you say? We can’t possibly do that without taking food out of the mouths of children and throwing grandma off the cliff- just for starters- right? Wrong.
                Incredibly, no one even truly knows how many federal agencies are actually in existence. Something called the ‘Administrative Conference of the United States’ (is that a governmental agency?) says there are 115 of them. The Federal Register Index avers there are 257 such groups. Yet the United States Government Manual (sounds authoritative) claims that 316 of these indispensable bodies spend our money and tell us what we can and can’t do. The Federal Register indicates there are over 430 departments, agencies, and sub-agencies in the federal government.
                Here is just a tiny sample of the absolutely vital programs these august bodies are funding:

*The National Science Foundation has utilized $1.5 million in grant money to test what happens when fish use treadmills. Yes, a ‘mudskipper,’ a species able to live out of water longer than most, was put on a tiny treadmill and its actions scrutinized. In a related experiment, bluegills were sent through ‘treadmill-like swim tunnels.’
*The Environmental Protection Agency spent nearly $37,000 to create a version of the Berkshire region of Massachusetts for the ‘Minecraft’ video game. Funding attempts to make virtual worlds in video games appear more real would logically seem to be a core function of the EPA, would it not? The real world laughs. Or cries.
*The peerless FBI managed to ejaculate roughly $1.2 million dollars to acquire- and subsequently remove- an ‘art’ installation from its Miami, Florida field office. The $750,000 Western Red Cedar sculpture was making people in the field office ill due to the nearly overwhelming presence of cedar dust. I’m not going out on a limb when I say whoever made the decision to spend that money should face charges of trees-on.
*West Virginia University managed to spend $3.5 million on a study that tried to ascertain why people don’t like going to dentists. (That is a puzzler. The study’s findings purportedly claim that people have a higher opinion of root canals than Congress).
*The Commerce Department gave $1.7 million to the ‘National Comedy Center’ in Jamestown, N.Y., to produce holograms of deceased comedians. Unfortunately, that’s no joke. The first hologram depicted Lucille Ball of ‘I Love Lucy’ fame. To be fair, she was a resident of Jamestown when young. She is also the first hologram developed by the Center. (Many more to follow, I’m sure). Commerce Department, “You’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

                This money is confiscated from those who not only may not agree with this spending, but perhaps could have used it to send their kids to a better college or taken a family trip of a lifetime…or started a new business venture.
                And, oh yeah, we are 20 trillion dollars in debt.

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