Purse Strings

Purse Strings

Imagine somebody breaking into your house, stepping on a Lego and breaking an arm as they crash into the wall; and suing you for damages. It happens and while not frequent, frivolous lawsuits are not uncommon. Some lawsuits are filed for solid reasons and get blown out of proportion by the lawyers (…stop smirking). The latest craziness is the Feds paying illegal aliens a payment. The dollar amount is irrelevant, they should not get a dime.

Foreign aide is another one where the Feds give away tax dollars like candy on Halloween. We borrow money to give it to other countries. These countries are not all poor. This aide may do great things and provide vital services, but we need to stop. Borrowing money to give to other countries is stupid. Giving my tax dollars to other countries should not happen.

Grants, a euphemism for tax dollars, are thrown around all over the place, for a whole bunch of projects. Some good and some totally idiotic. The criteria for these can also be a bit odd and chances of a successful bid is improved if you are a minority and/or women owned business. If a native of Hawaii (and I think Alaska), more balls are added to the lottery. Tens of billions (if not hundreds) of dollars between normal everyday grants and government contracts to do stuff they want done. These dollars are accompanied by the rigorous, if not overly cumbersome, and often useless, rules and regulations. They want to ensure each dollar is spent wisely and within the confines of the grant proposal. At least that is what we are told.

The people think this is appropriate and applaud the audit of each dollar. What we fail to remember is how the dollar is being used. Some of these grants are lunacy and while others sound plausible on the surface, the conclusions of these dollars often amount to a dust gathering report. They are higher education boondoggles. The grant developers’ often structure these so that an inordinate amount of infrastructure or perceived knowledge must be available (present seems a bit too demanding). Many Federal agencies create these grants to find answers to curiosities: Hey, that is a good question, throw a half a million at it and see if someone will give us the answer. Sometimes the question gets answered and other times no.

The perceived auditing and oversight of federal grants is great, it gives peace of mind, but how much has anyone heard about the unemployment compensation fiasco. The Department of Labor issued almost $200 million in grants (US Department of Labor awards $195.7M in grants to 58 states, territories, District of Columbia to strengthen fraud detection, prevention efforts | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov) to “…strengthen fraud detection…”, but why is this necessary. BTW, why is Labor giving out grants? Congress appropriates money. Isn’t it grand (excuse the pun), Guam got $200,000….everybody gets a piece of the pie! Is the current system broken (yes, that is rhetorical)? What prevents them from fixing it and why isn’t the Head of the Department of Labor requesting a meeting with Congressional representatives to explain how? Why isn’t Congress demanding it be fixed? Fix it, or no more money. No more grants for you!!! That should incite a reaction.

The American People continue to be lied to and mislead about the simplest of things and few see problems with the idiocy that occurs on a daily basis. Until the people demand that programs be terminated, the purse strings cut and real repercussions dispensed for ineptitude, nothing will change.

Citizen oversight is our greatest strength, if only we could harness it.

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Categorized as Policy

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