U.S. Senator Jeff Flake Exposes Government Waste On Bizarre Research
By Philip Wegmann, Congressional Correspondent for The Daily Signal // May 12, 2016
NIH Spends Millions on Hopped-Up Honeybees and Sexy Goldfish, Then Asks for Zika Funding
EDITOR’S NOTE: With the Obama administration and congress looking for over a billion dollars of funding for critical research to develop a vaccine and treatments to help curb the spread of the Zika virus, The Daily Signal reports on millions of those much-needed taxpayer dollars that the government is presently spending on “research” to answer bizarre and meaningless questions like: How many shakes does it take for a wet dog to dry off? What makes goldfish feel sexy? And, how much a bee sting to various anatomic parts of the human body hurts.
We hear about this blatant waste of tax-payer dollars every year, but nothing ever seems to change.
With annual deficits and the national debt entirely out of control, and the U.S. economy in the tank, perhaps, as responsible American citizens, we should be asking every candidate at every level what they are going to do to break the cycle of government waste and bring some common sense to appropriations for meaningful research.
– Dr. Jim Palermo, Editor-in-Chief
THE DAILY SIGNAL — What do honeybees on cocaine, drunken songbirds, and sexy goldfish have in common? Each was the subject of extensive, taxpayer-funded research and each features prominently in Sen. Jeff Flake’s most recent expose on government waste.
The Arizona Republican’s oversight report — “Twenty Questions: Government Studies That Will Leave You Scratching Your Head” — highlights $35 million worth of federally funded research projects of dubious merit.
It’s part of an effort to increase oversight and efficiency in government research.
“When federal agencies don’t spend our limited research dollars wisely,” Flake said, “they’re not just wasting money, they’re missing opportunities, and we can’t afford either.”
The overseas Ebola epidemic, Flake’s office said, provided the original impetus for this study. In 2014 the director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, complained that lack of government funding hampered the agency’s effort to develop a vaccine for the Ebola virus.
It did not, however, keep the NIH from spending part of its $32 billion budget to study the appearance of Jesus Christ’s face on toast, the musical preferences of monkeys, and the contagious nature of yawning.
Flake, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, argues that the funding would be better deployed to find “treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral infections such as Zika and Ebola.”
CLICK HERE for the complete story on DailySignal.com that spotlights a very broken bureaucratic system in which Congress must do a better job overseeing how already allocated money is being spent.
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