Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), like most Americans, doesn’t appreciate government waste. With a national debt in the neighborhood of $23 trillion, where do you start rooting out the crazy spending by Congress?
Sen. Paul happens to be the Chairman of the Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. That’s a mouthful, but it means that he is charged with learning about spending excesses and raising the alarm. And he’s chosen some of the worst examples of the federal government’s spending to highlight in his recent Waste Report.
Some of the programs that made Sen. Paul’s $230 million-dollar list will make you scratch your head.
Funded $153 million to the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority.
The local D.C. subway, called the Metro, is known for outages, delays and poor customer satisfaction. Instead of spending taxpayer money on infrastructure improvements and ensuring that the trains run on time to reverse its declining ridership, the Metro’s administrators spend money on public relations campaigns, a self-cleaning toilet that hasn’t been in use for the last couple years, a “bike room” and other band-aid fixes that haven’t done anything substantive to improve service.
Funded $708,000 in research that involves hooking Zebrafish on nicotine.
What? This money give-away didn’t even go to pay American researchers. The Queen Mary University of London benefits from this questionable experiment to determine if nicotine addiction is related to genetics. And really, who cares what the answer is anyway?
Spent almost $4.7 million to study the connection between drunk driving and hospital emergency room visits.
Does this “connection” really need a scientific study? The recipient of these funds, the National Institutes of Health, surely thinks that Congress is Santa Claus on this one. My guess is, surprise, the final report will find a link between excess alcohol use and people winding up in hospital emergency rooms due to accidents. I could have saved the American taxpayer millions by only charging Congress five bucks for the same answer they will receive when this “scientific” study is over.
Spent $22 million to bring Serbian cheese up to international standards.
No, I am not making this up. With America’s milk producers experiencing a “cheese glut” of over 1.4 billion pounds in excess of current domestic needs, and looking for overseas markets, Sen. Paul wants to know why the U.S. is training Serbian farmers to make better cheese to compete with America.
Why is this issue important?
The Waste Report could be brushed off because, after all, what is $230 million compared to the annual $4.7 trillion in expenditures by Congress? On the other hand, if no one holds Congress accountable for its fiscal follies, we will only get more and larger doses of irresponsible spending. And remember, Sen. Paul’s report only highlights some of the more egregious mis-spending by Congress. There is more that can be done in this regard. The next time some politician proposes a tax hike to fund a bunch of pet programs, you should send them a copy of this report.
Does your U.S. Senator or Representative know about the Waste Report? More importantly, do they know that you know?