While $6.5 billion may sound like a lot, it really isn’t to a government that spends $3 trillion a year. Nevertheless, Coburn’s list is important because it shows our government’s attitude toward our money. And make no mistake, this is our money. When you go to work tomorrow, every hour you work, Uncle Sam is reaching into your pocket to fund these kinds of programs. What kinds of programs? Observe:
● $484,000 for a hippie-themed pizza restaurant in Arlington, Texas. This is part of a national chain called the Mellow Mushroom. Why are we giving money to a private business? And where is Commentarama’s grant dammit?!This stuff is mind-numbing. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry or sign myself up? I want a dragon or a federal-government supported pizza restaurant. Why can’t I have one? Heck, I'd even take a freezer full of blow-fed quail.
● $764,825 to study the mobile phone and social media habits of college freshmen. Huh? Why should anyone pay for this? For one thing, we already know about their habits. Who needs this much money to study something you can look up for free on the net?!! And why does this require federal money at all?
● $136,555 to let a group of English teachers retrace Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in England. W.T.F?!! Why are we paying for some a-holes’ vacations?!
● $175,587 to study how cocaine use affects the mating habits of quail. Yeah, you read that right. Cocaine + bird sex.... brought to you by you the taxpayer!
● A down payment of $130,987 on a million dollar study to determine whether “a dragon-shaped robot can enhance toddlers’ learning skills.” At least they’re not using cocaine this time. And wasn’t that a movie -- The Toddler With The Dragon Shaped Robot?
And this is just the tip of the largess iceberg. There’s money for a video game preservation center, salaries paid to dead employees, another bridge to nowhere, money to study online dating, money to pack butter, a Hawaiian chocolate festival, to build a magic museum, iPads for kindergarteners, and hundreds of billions of dollars to government employees who do nothing but grind the country to a halt.
I want my tax money back.
And while we’re talking about grinding the country to a halt, check this out. You know how regulations stall an economy just like higher taxes? Sure you do, unless you’re Paul Krugman.
Well guess who’s been burying the economy in regulation? According to George Mason University, the number of “economically significant” regulations being issued has been souring. An “economically significant” regulation, according to the government, is a regulation that imposes at least $100 million in annual costs on the economy. Clinton issued an average of 56 per year. “Conservative” George W. Bush issued on average 62 per year. And now his downgrade-ness is issuing on average 84 per year. Here’s a handy chart:
What this means it that during Clinton’s eight years, he added $44.8 billion in regulations to the economy. Bush added $49.6 billion. And Obama’s already added $25.2 billion in his first three years Add that up and we’re over $100 billion in new regulations in the past couple decades. If you’re a Keynesian, that’s half a trillion in damage to the economy every year. Using Krugman’s stimulus math, that means a loss of around six million jobs!
And keep in mind, these regulations actually cost well more than $100 million, we just don't know how much because that data isn’t available. These could well have been three, four or five times as expensive.
Also this is only the biggest regulations, this doesn’t count the thousands of regulations scored to stay just below the $100 million level. It’s likely those add up to way more than the numbers above. But let’s assume for the sake of argument those smaller regulations total another $100 billion. That’s another six million lost jobs for a total of twelve million lost jobs.
Now this may be purely coincidental, but you might remember that our economy is currently “missing” 15 million jobs over the past decade. Gee, I wonder where they went?