Green Room

Out of control spending? You’re kidding!

posted at 2:56 pm on January 17, 2012 by

Obviously what I’m about to list isn’t going to make or break us as a nation in terms of monetary outlay. Each taken individually is but a drop in the sea of $16 trillion dollar debt we now float in. But the fact remains that each is an indicator of why we’re in that deep of a hole. Each points to another area where government has no business, especially spending taxpayer, or more likely borrowed money. Or it points to an expenditure not made on its reasoned merits, but on bureaucratic inertia, lack of control or monitoring or any of a great number of reasons the payment shouldn’t have been made. Doug Bandow provides us with the list.

Now, on with the show:

~The U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S. AID) spent $30 million to spur mango production and sales in Pakistan—and failed utterly.

Yup, mango production … in Pakistan.

~The Air Force spent $14 million to switch three radar stations to wind power; poor planning forced cancellation of one turbine and consideration of the same for the other two.

Because we all know windpower is proven and reliable and … what do you mean “put our national security at risk?”

~The Federal Aviation Administration devoted $6 million to subsidize air service at small, underused airports.

Market smarket … we’ll just create one. Until the money runs out, of course.

~A federal grant for $765,828 went to—I am not making this up, to quote Dave Barry—bring an International House of Pancakes franchise to Washington, D.C.

Because bringing IHOPs to DC is a primary function of the United States government and worthy of every dollar spent.

~The Department for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided a $484,000 grant to build a “Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers” restaurant in Texas.

Because it is not the market’s job to decide what restaurants should exist in a certain area, it’s the job of government.

~Another HUD grant, this one for $1 million, went to a foreign architectural firm to move its headquarters from Santa Monica to Los Angeles.

Because we knew you’d want us to do it. You need to move? Tough cookies.

~NIH gave the University of Kentucky $175,587 to study the impact of cocaine on the sex drive of Japanese quail.

Because we’re sure Japanese quail are the next target of drug dealers. Or something.

~The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) gave $916,567 to underwrite horse-drawn carriage exhibits and survey shipwrecks in Wisconsin.

Because, well, we couldn’t think of anything else to do with the money.

~The Oregon Cheese Guild received $50,400 to promote cheese.

Because obviously the Oregon Cheese Guild wouldn’t be able to promote cheese without this.

~Uncle Sam spent $111,000 to send brewery experts to conduct classes in China.

Because the folks making Tsing Tao obviously couldn’t handle that.

~The ever busy NSF devoted $300,000 to developing a dance program to illustrate the origins of matter.

Because without it … oh nevermind.

And my personal favorite:

~Washington helpfully gave almost $18 million in foreign aid to China—money effectively borrowed from China.

The circle is complete. Borrowing money to give money back to the entity from which we borrowed it while still owing the principle.


Your government at work. Be sure to read the rest of the top 100 wastes of money that Sen. Tom Coburn has helpfully put together. And remember. They’re the top 100. There are plenty more than just didn’t make the cut.

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I think I’ll propose borrowing an additional amount from my mortgage lender to give the company aid. It will be interesting to see the response I get.

J.E. Dyer on January 17, 2012 at 3:14 PM

But, but, but – spending doesn’t matter, the rich don’t pay their fair share… /any libtard

dentarthurdent on January 17, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I think I’ll propose borrowing an additional amount from my mortgage lender to give the company aid. It will be interesting to see the response I get.

J.E. Dyer on January 17, 2012 at 3:14 PM

As long as you already have a Dodd-Frank type government bailout as backup, I’m sure you will find them enthusiasts of your plan.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 17, 2012 at 4:20 PM

And yet somehow our politicians in Washington can’t seem to find a way to cut spending…

Gee, I wonder why…

I will bet my mortgage that each and every one of those stupid wastes of money that has no business being done by the federal government with our tax dollars was done because it did one of the follwing things:

A. was pushed by a lobbyist for an organization which subsequently donated money to the campaign fund for the congress person that inserted the amendment funding it

B. went to a project in which a congress person was personally invested, thereby enriching their own bank account

C. went to a project in which one of the congress person’s large donors was invested, resulting in a campaign contribution

D. all of the above, or some combination thereof

The result being, your tax dollars ending up back in the coffers to re-elect the person who requested the spending. And you all think either party really wants to change how government works?? The GOP is no more interested in changing the rules than the Dems are. Note that Romney, of all of the candidates, really has not outlined any proposal to fundementally change the way Washington functions. And THAT is the real reason he is being pushed by the GOP establishment and Washington insiders. Obama or Romney, it’s all a dog and pony show for our benefit. It’s all just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. And I doubt Gingrich or Santorum would be much better. Perry might, at least he is proposing it, but he can’t articulate a coherent thought. And Paul has the right ideas on econmics and small government, but he isnt really presidential, and Congress on both sides of the aisle will make sure he doesn’t do anything to change the self-enriching rules. That’s where the Dems and GOP can actually agree.

gravityman on January 17, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Upon ocasion, watching Newt versus the ‘moderators’ at the debates, I am reminded of what Lincoln said about Grant “I can’t spare this man, he fights.” He may have many flaws, but this is one strength we are sorely in need of.

AnotherOpinion on January 17, 2012 at 10:16 PM

~Uncle Sam spent $111,000 to send brewery experts to conduct classes in China.

Because the folks making Tsing Tao obviously couldn’t handle that.

I’ve had Tsing Tao. They do need an expert or twenty. China could, maybe, be paying those experts for their effort like normal people do.

PXCharon on January 18, 2012 at 7:06 AM