Shutdown Theater: Um, Maybe Los Federales Spend Too Much

Obviously, so many of the Shutdown Theater stories from the left leaning media are designed to tug on the heartstrings, as well as say “those evil mean Republicans are hurting the economy and businesses. But, this tells me something different

(WRAL) Finding work in a sputtering economy is difficult, especially for people with disabilities.

Four out of five disabled adults are unemployed, and their prospects for landing a job are getting slimmer now that the government shutdown has idled the people who train them for jobs and help them stay employed through coaching and support.

Greg Lazo’s vocational rehabilitation position is federally funded, and he was told this week to stop working, leaving his clients on the job without support.

Getting beyond the notion that there are lots and lots of unemployed who are suffering during the Obama Economy, this story is meant to yank on those heart strings. Let’s look deeper: the federal government is funding this program. Why? Before we answer (and someone calls me heartless), let’s see a few more (these all come from the Raleigh N&O while I was looking for the last excerpt)

(Raleigh N&O) A company that makes solar panels for the Department of Defense has no orders to fill.

A consulting firm recently named one of America’s fastest-growing companies has been forced to tap cash reserves without its No. 1 client: the federal government.

(N&O) Illinois is scaling back on certain hospital and nursing home inspections because of the partial federal government shutdown, state officials said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health gets about $1.3 million a month to pay for inspections of medical facilities, but that money’s been stopped because of the shutdown, according to a report (http://bit.ly/18UuKXa ) by the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers.

(Cary News) For many months, I have been preparing to move to Denver, Colo., for Americorps, a federal program that allows young people to do service projects in the U.S. and receive an education award to go toward college or student-loan debt.

Less than one week before my departure date, the government shut down, leaving me with no options.

(N&O) Deanna Osmond, a soil scientist at N.C. State University, recently got the good news she’d been hoping for: a $450,750 research grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Her project is a three-year test of a tool that may help corn farmers adjust nitrogen fertilizer levels during the growing season, rather than guessing at the right amount. The research has practical implications for corn yields in North Carolina and elsewhere.

Then came the bad news: Because of the partial shutdown of the federal government, Osmond was told that her team can’t get the money or start the research. The clock is ticking to launch the study in time for the next corn growing season.

These are just a smattering of stories about the Reliance On Federal Funds. The Helping Hand Of The Federal Government. Your tax dollars, taken at the point of a barrel, well, jail cell. From a federal government that is far away and typically unresponsive to the taxpayer him/herself. These programs themselves are necessarily bad or wasteful, but would be best funded from a more responsive state or local government, or from the private sector. The use of federal money for programs continues to increase yearly, as do the expenditures. And once established, it is darned near impossible to get rid of. If you oppose this use of money, you are heartless, hate science, hate people, are a scrooge, are mean.

Look at that last one: Almost $451k may seem like a drop in the bucket when the federal budget is almost $4 trillion, but it all ads up. Why fund this through the USDA? People have been farming for most of modern human history. If this was really great research, wouldn’t some private company step up, seeing a return on investment?

There are all sorts of waste lists. Consider a few from Zero Hedge‘s 66 ways government wastes your money

  • The IRS is about to pay out 70 million dollars in bonuses to employees even though discretionary bonuses are supposed to be cancelled due to the sequester.
  • The NIH plans to spend $509,840 on a study that “will send text messages in ‘gay lingo’ to methamphetamine addicts to try to persuade them to use fewer drugs and more condoms.”
  • The National Science Foundation has given $384,949 to Yale University to do a study on “Sexual Conflict, Social Behavior and the Evolution of Waterfowl Genitalia”. Try not to laugh, but much of this research involves examining and measuring the reproductive organs of male ducks.
  • During 2012, $25,000 of federal money was spent on a promotional tour for the Alabama Watermelon Queen.
  • The U.S. government spent $505,000 “to promote specialty hair and beauty products for cats and dogs” in 2012.
  • During fiscal 2012, the National Science Foundation gave researchers at Purdue University $350,000. They used part of that money to help fund a study that discovered that if golfers imagine that a hole is bigger it will help them with their putting.

I play golf a few times a month (skinned the ever-loving hell out of my knee a few weeks ago…long story, did not involve alcohol, surprisingly), and, wow, that last one was dumb. Tom Coburn should be releasing his 2013 waste list soon. Here’s his 2012. It’s time to reduce the dependency on Los Federales, and reduce this pork and waste. Sure, we would like to help disable folks prepare for jobs and find them, we’re a damned charitable, caring country. So many of these programs are funded not because of caring, but because elected officials want to get re-elected by giving Someone Else’s money away. Where does it end?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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