As I write this, the U.S. government is supposedly “shut down.” This is fake news, as all essential government entities are 100% up and running, and everybody is getting paid. If this qualifies as a government shutdown, it would be better for the average American taxpayer if the government was permanently shut down. The bewildering array of extraneous things on which the government spends a staggering amount of money is largely kept from Joe Citizen’s view. Each year at this time, however, Senator Rand Paul issues a “Festivus Waste Report,” cataloging some of the most preposterous examples of taxpayer abuse. Here are a few of the low-lights from the. (Keep in mind as you read this that the U.S. is currently over $21 trillion in debt).
· Since 2009, the State Department has allocated over $76 million to provide stipends to the nearly non-existent Somali army. (It should be directing that money to our own nearly non-existent army).
· The Department of Agriculture spent over $13 million to promote farmers’ markets. (Farmers are paid not to grow things, and are subsidized in various ways, including via the inane ethanol mandate. There are already Farmer’s markets at nearly every street corner, gas station and strip mall parking lot).
· More than $250,000 was spent by the U.S. embassy in Rwanda to teach Rwandans how to lobby. (I don’t know how effective this could be. Perhaps they could lobby for more food or a better government, but they probably just lobby for more U.S. aid).
· $75,691 was spent on the vital task of directing high-speed volumes of air (generated by leaf blowers) at lizards. (How much was spent to determine if the lizards enjoyed the blow-jobs?).
· A mere $361,891 was spent on a study of horse and donkey hunting on the ancient Anatolian Peninsula. (Why? They’re not still hunting them, are they? And where the hell is/was the Anatolian Peninsula?).
· Fully $18 million was spent in support of Egyptian tourism. (They have the bleeping pyramids…they don’t need the help. And the Nile. Maybe spend it on Baltimore, instead?).
· The ever daft State Department shelled out $50,000 to pay for museum trips in Bosnia & Herzegovina…for Bosnians & Herzegovinians. (I’m pretty sure no other country is paying for Americans to go to the Smithsonian or the Baseball Hall of Fame).
· The National Endowment for the Arts coughed up 15 Grand to find ways of using the theater to combat homelessness and poverty. (“Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo? Are you homeless and poverty-stricken again? You can come live with us Capulets! Better still, you could become an actor! Wouldn’t that be grand, my Romeo?!”).
· The State Department forked over $200,000 to put on plays in Afghanistan. (See above. I’m sure the warlords were delighted).
· The State Department (again) spent over $653,000 to develop a Pashto-language television drama series for Afghans. (See above. Don’t Afghans have enough drama in their day-to-day lives?).
· The State Department spent $35,000 to encourage people in the Republic of Congo to use local resources. (Think about it).
· The State Department also laid out $200,000 to bring British student social justice activists to the United States. (We have too damn many of them here already. We should be a net exporter of social justice warriors. We should be placing tariffs on their import, not paying for them to come here).
· The National Institute of Health (NIH) spent nearly $2.5 million to study daydreaming. (Too bad we didn’t just dream this. What a nightmare).
· The NIH spent an incredible $800,000 to study the sex lives of quails high on cocaine. (This raises the question: WTF??!! What’s next, studying the mating habits of herons on heroine? The hook-up tactics of drunken water buffalo?).
And on and on…..and on and on and on it goes, for thousands of line items, costing the average taxpayer thousands of dollars.
The government spends money like a drunken sailor on shore leave. And it’s about to get worse, possibly much worse, when the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives.
Look for the 2019 report to show that the State Department spent $50 million to import British social justice activists to lobby for the provision of free cocaine to horny quails who are watched by daydreaming lizards being assaulted by gusts from leaf blowers in a study to determine the study’s effects on Egyptian tourism and Rwandan lobbying efforts.