Tag Archives: waste

Duck Sex and Essential Government (Part II)


When last we commiserated about the sex life of ducks, we questioned why taxpayers were being billed (billed—ducks—get it?) for million-dollar National Science Foundation (NSF) research into the corkscrew-like genital appendage on the female duck that deters the unwanted advances of the male.

The study, now in its eighth year, is just one of hundreds of taxpayer-funded projects that presumably hold the promise of scientific discovery and the eventual benefit to society worth the investment. And maybe that will turn out to be the case.

Though science projects are a budgetary breeding ground of questionable spending priorities and outright waste, there are others much worse.

Remember the Las Vegas retreat for General Service Administration employees? How about the Internal Revenue Service spending $49 million on conferences? Continue reading

Duck Sex and Essential Government (Part I)


I’ve been observing the genitalia of ducks for several years now. Did you know, the female duck has an anatomical part similar to a cork screw that acts as a deterrent to male ducks the female is not interested in, uh, screwing?

Well, I should clarify that statement.

I really haven’t been studying the under carriage of ducks. Patricia Brennan has on my behalf and yours. She’s a professor at the University of Massachusetts who studies duck sex under what has become an 8-year project under a $384,000 (what we presume to be an annual) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which you and I support with our tax dollars. Continue reading

Taxpayers Paying for Perpetual Campaigns


President Obama is expected to spend a record-breaking $1 billion on his re-election campaign. That’s a lot of money, but there’s more. There are super PACS and interest groups and party organizations, all of which will spend added millions on his re-election.

There’s another pot of money, however, that should be added to the total–the growing amount of tax dollars being used to fund trips and functions that are classified by the White House as “official government business” but are in reality, purely partisan campaign events.

Speaker John Boehner finally spoke up last week, calling the President’s whirlwind taxpayer funded tour of college campuses “pathetic” and “beneath the dignity” of the White House. The President went to colleges in three battleground states, at taxpayers’ expense, presumably to rally support for a problem that was pretty much solved before Air Force One left the ground.

The college town tour was just one of many diversions of taxpayer funds to the campaign. It’s been going on for nine months, and it’s getting worse. Continue reading