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Studying Pigeons on Cocaine...

Publisher's Desk

“And how about the Federal government? Well, unsurprisingly, it managed to keep spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need,” U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) says in the 2021 “Festivus”’ Report on Government Waste, an annual compilation of how the federal government wastes taxpayer money on often absurd programs.

So how much did our esteemed representatives and senators waste this year? A whopping $52,598,515,585 in government waste, according to the Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight (ETSO) Subcommittee for the Homeland Security, of which Paul is chair.

Paul said, with an average taxpayer bill of about $15,332, the federal government has “wasted the taxes of 3,430,636 people.”

“That is roughly the population of Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; or 50.74 times the size of Senator Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green, KY,” according to the report.

And what could possibly cost $52 billion?

Well, there was $11.3 million spent by USAID to advertise to the people of Vietnam “to stop burning their trash,” Congress giving the Wilson Center — which “throws swanky parties for members of congress” — $14 million, and over $465,000 granted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Reed College of Portland, Oregon, to “create a token-based economy where pigeons are taught to gamble with slot machines.”

Yes, now national security is dependent on the ability of pigeons, the rats of the sky, to be able to listen to Dean Martin and lose it all in Vegas. “Ain’t that a Kick in the Head?”

What else?

Well, there was $40,316,270,000 wasted on COVID-19, including $4.29 billion in “bad loans out of the Paycheck Protection Program,” about $36 billion in “wasted unemployment insurance payments,” and $1.27 million in “COVID relief funds for students who actually weren’t enrolled” in a Baltimore school.

Other waste included more than $8 billion, including $250 million to “build border walls in the Middle East and North Africa,” $179 million for the State Department to “fund green energy programs in Africa,” and $200,000 to teach “France about U.S. culture.”

Additionally, “the FAA was named for spending $57,000 on a study of the physical measurements of 432 airline stewardesses,” Paul said during a speech on the senate floor. “These included the distance from knee-to-knee while sitting and the length of the buttocks... This was your government money put to good use.”

During the same speech Paul noted how NIH spent $800,000 in taxpayer dollars to assess the risky sex habits of Japanese quail while high on cocaine.

“ to study whether Japanese quail are more sexually promiscuous on cocaine,’ Paul noted. “You think, we could have just polled the audience? You think we could have just said, ‘What do you think?’ Because that’s sort of the answer. The answer is ‘yes.’”

All this at a time when the inflation rate is the highest it has been in decades, and businesses struggle to find enough employees.

Maybe Grandpa Joe should have reigned in this wasteful spending? Then he would have had more than $52 billion that could have gone to infrastructure.

This leaves the question, does the majority of Congress know how to balance a check book?

Probably not.

This is why “Congress” is the opposite of “Progress.”


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