Waste Not Want Not
Everyone seems to be concerned with budgets today. And, why shouldn’t they? Prices are going up and, too often, salaries are going down. People appear to be looking for ways to make cuts.
Belt-tightening is never a fun thing to do. But, what are the alternatives? Is borrowing more money the best option? Is adding on to the deficit the best solution?
We know what we would do after a cost/benefit analysis. Or, at least we would know what we should do. How about the government? What are they doing to deal with the swelling costs?
It seems that they are throwing caution to the wind. In a time of being lean, they seem to be involved in waste. According to Senator Tom Coburn, in a report entitled “Wastebook 2010,”the government is spending money on absolutely crazy and frivolous programs.
Let’s look at some examples of this spending which are being supported by taxpayer money, then you decide if this is frivolous:
1. $3 million granted to the University of California (Irvine) to study how “emerging forms of communication, including multiplayer computer games and online virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life can help organizations collaborate and compete more effectively in the global marketplace.
2. $700,000 granted to the University of New Hampshire to study methane gas emmisions from cows.
3. $615,000 granted to the University of California (Santa Cruz) to digitize photos, T-shirts and concert tickets belonging to the Grateful Dead.
4. $239,000 granted to a professor at Stanford University to study how people can find love on the Internet.
5. $216,000 granted to the National Science Foundation to study whether politicians “gain or lose support by taking ambiguous positions.”
The full list is a lot longer and just as irrational. Even in flush times, most people would probably question this as senseless spending.
In addition to these grants, federal stimulus money seems to have gotten out of control as well. The city of Portland spent $900,000 to change signage that closely resembles what they already had. If you put the signs side by side, would you be able to see a $900,000 difference?
Let’s look at spending within government departments. A peek at an audit of the Department of Justice for 2008-09 revealed these individual item costs for food and beverages for federal legal conferences: $32 for a cup of coffee, $16 for a muffin and $10 for smoothies. Wow! Think about the priciest restaurant that you have ever visited. How does it compare?
The national debt has grown phenomenally. It will soon reach $17 trillion. Think about your own debt. How has it grown over the last 30 years, or 20 years, or 10 years? Would you consider frivolous spending if your debt was increasing at a rapid rate?
How did these politicians in Washington lose track of reality? Do you suppose that they are as careless with their own personal spending in these difficult economic times? Why is there such little thought to spending our taxpayer money?
We need to elect candidates in the coming election with realistic goals for achieving economic freedom. We need candidates who are willing to zip Uncle Sam’s wallet and focus on fiscal responsibility.
Talk to your friends about the current waste in Washington that is continuing with unsustainable proportions. Direct them to this website. Encourage them to make their vote count for ending this reckless spending. Help to stop “business as usual” and end the path to national bankruptcy!