Phayre's Leaf Monkeys & Prehistoric Bison Hunting

John Campbell
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Posted: May 03, 2007 3:42 PM

We have a spending problem here on Capitol Hill. The budget that was recently passed by the House allows us to operate in a deficit for the next 4 years -- if not longer. It proposes the largest tax increase in American history. And it also continues to raid Social Security funds at the expense of our children and grandchildren.
 
You may ask yourself what spending is so important that we should continue doing all this bad stuff?
 
Well...last night, I offered an amendment to a bill (the National Science Foundation Authorization Act) that targeted seven questionable uses of taxpayer dollars. My amendment basically said there are certain things upon which we should not be spending money during this difficult fiscal time of deficits, entitlement explosion, and tax increases. Here are the projects:
  • Research related to the “sexual politics of waste in Dakar, Senegal”
  • Research related to the relationships & reproductive strategies of Phayre’s Leaf Monkeys
  • Research related to team verses individual play
  • Research into the accuracy of the cross-cultural understanding of others’ emotions
  • Research related to bison hunting on the late prehistoric Great Plains
  • Research related to the cognitive model of superstitious belief
  • Research into the archives of Andean Knotted-String Records
  • I am sure people are going to write comments saying that these are important academic studies and they have a legitimate purpose and need. And I bet they do, but that's not the question. The question is, do these studies rise to the standard of requiring expenditures of taxpayer funds in a time of deficits, proposed tax increases, and raiding Social Security funds? I think the answer is a resounding no.
     
    The amendment, however, failed to pass by a vote of 195 - 222. So, be comforted in knowing that when your taxes increase you are paying for research related to the “sexual politics of waste in Dakar, Senegal.” When deficit spending continues, we are using that money to pay for research related to bison hunting on the late prehistoric Great Plains. When the social security trust fund is raided, we are stealing those funds to pay for studies related to social relationships and reproductive strategies of Phayre’s Leaf Monkeys.
     
    Those 195 who voted to retain spending on this stuff should be ashamed.