You're kidding yourselves.
Woke up this morning to all of the cable news stations talking about new administration plans to cut federal programs and depending upon what channel you watched, this announcement was met with cheers or jeers. This plan reminds me of the days when Senator Coburn would annually put out his Wastebook which listed in detail all the money spent wastefully. Some of these items would make us laugh, but in the end they were too often a ridiculous waste of time and money.
Take this news which came out last month. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees are spending so much time performing job-protecting civil service union work that the quality of care provided to sick veterans suffers, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.
"The VA has no clue how many hours employees devote to “official time” — time spent working for unions during work hours on the taxpayer dime — because the VA has no standardized system for recording and calculating official time agency-wide, GAO found."
In effect these employees were spending more working hours on union work than the job they were being paid for.
Senator Jeff Flake has taken over retired Senator Tom Coburn's annual listing of wasteful government spending (Wastebook) and this is what part of what he and his staff uncovered.
The National Institute of Health studies:
- Why do some people see Jesus' face on toast. 3.5 million
- Do drunk birds slur when they sing? 5 million
- Does cocaine make honey bees dance? 243,00
National Science Foundation:
- Why does walking with coffee cause it to spill? 143,000
- Are cheerleaders more attractive in a squad? 1.1 million
- What makes goldfish feel sexy? 3.9 million
There are more at the link.
1.7 million for a comedy club starring holograms of dead comedians
74 million for a program that allows taxpayer-backed loans to be repaid with peanuts
1.5 million to test the endurance of a fish on a treadmill.
There are more and more and more of these at the link.
So when you hear cable news talking today about the administration wanting to make huge cuts at the Federal Drug Administration, or the EPA, think back to how money is being used in most federal departments. Maybe reporters who want to do some Pulitzer prize winning work could dig into this instead of just putting out scary headlines.