It’s no secret: the federal government wastes taxpayer dollars. But getting rid of wasteful spending is about more than just cutting bad programs. First, the feds have to identify legitimate and illegitimate uses of funds, and yesterday they showed themselves to be woefully incompetent at even this basic step.
While members of Congress complained about the $7 million spent on the Benghazi Committee’s investigation -- an investigation into the deaths of four Americans, including an ambassador -- the Washington Free Beacon reported that the feds have spent more on soap operas, obesity rap songs, and hotel shower monitoring:
The federal government spent more on anti-obesity rap songs, a soap opera series about HIV, and a device to monitor how long hotel guests spend in the shower than Congress spent investigating the attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Democrats are very concerned that taxpayer funding went towards the investigation of the 2012 attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. They say the investigation has cost about $7 million.
“We are issuing our own report today because, after spending more than two years and $7 million in taxpayer funds in one of the longest and most partisan congressional investigations in history, it is long past time for the Select Committee to conclude its work,” Democratic House members said.
A spending tracker of the investigation created by Democratic members of the committee showed a total $7,161,432 spent as of Tuesday afternoon.
The amount is less than the federal government’s investments in studies about the “relationship between gender and glaciers,” a soap opera and instructional videos on how to put a condom on a cucumber, and research on male engineering students’ “microagressions” against women.
The National Science Foundation spent $412,930 on a study that published scientific results on the “relationship between gender and glaciers.” The results concluded that “ice is not just ice,” and instructed scientists to take a “feminist postcolonial” approach when studying melting ice caps and climate change.
The soap opera series “Love, Sex, and Choices” has received $3,134,199 from the National Institutes of Health for 12 episodes about HIV. One episode viewed by the Washington Free Beacon begins with a graphic oral sex scene between a woman and her ex, while a child plays in the other room.
The National Endowment for the Arts recently spent $20,000 for a play about “rape culture,” and the Environmental Protection Agency has invested $90,000 in technology to track how long Americans spend in the shower when they stay in hotels.
Another National Science Foundation project has spent $548,459 videotaping male college engineering students while they work in labs to see if they are causing women to experience “microaggressions.”
Finally, a joint project by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health has spent $3,541,583 on a series of anti-obesity hip-hop songs, such as the Barry White-inspired “Bake Don’t Fry” that urges kids to lay off the French Fries.
The above mentioned taxpayer-funded projects total $7,747,171, over $500,000 more than what Congress spent investigating the Benghazi terrorist attack.
With the country $19 trillion in debt, the federal government doesn’t have time to determine the relationship between glaciers and gender. Fortunately, the Founders left a way for We the People to force the feds to be fiscally responsible: an Article V Convention of States. A Convention of States -- called by state legislatures at the request of their constituents -- can propose a complete package of constitutional amendments that force Congress to cut truly wasteful government programs.