April 15, Tax Day, is coming, a day when we have to square up with Uncle Sam (although this year the official date is April 17).
We have a government to run and even though we are in a deep recession, our nation’s bills have to be paid, right?
Since we have to borrow $3.5 billion a day just to pay those bills, our government is doing everything it can to reduce that daily loan and limit spending to only things that are absolutely necessary, right?
We are more than three years into this economic downturn, so Washington now has its ducks in a row, has reduced expenses and eliminated any unnecessary spending, right?
You have either already paid or are getting ready to pay your 2011 taxes. Where did your tax money go in 2011, and no, I’m not talking about the obvious Social Security, Medicare and Defense? With this economic recession, we should be watching every dollar, right?
With help from Oklahoma Sen. Colburn’s 2011 Wastebook list, here are some of the reasons you worked so hard last year so Congress could spend your money to run this great country.
As you read some of the expense items, ask these questions, as does Senator Colburn:
• “Can we afford this when our annual deficit is over $1 trillion?”
• “Are these initiatives the role of the federal government?”
• “Does this spending fit our national priorities or are they just wasteful spending habits?”
In 2011 you paid:
• $30 million to mango fruit farmers in Pakistan. (This would take 3,000 American families, working hard all year, each paying $10,000 in income tax to cover this one expense.)
• $120 million to dead federal employees for disability and retirement benefits. Did you pick up on the part that said these employees were dead? (This would take 12,000 American families’ entire income tax for 2011.)
• $17.8 million in foreign aid to China! Yes, the very country we have to borrow money from so we can give it back to them in foreign aid, and yes, we still have to repay our loan! Think about that for a second. (1,780 American families’ entire 2011 taxes).
• $10 million to remake 130 episodes of “Sesame Street” for a Pakistani arts organization! (1,000 American families’ entire 2011 taxes were used to pay for this!)
• $1 billion, yes I said billion, was awarded in Energy Home Improvement Tax Credits to children, prisoners and others who don’t own homes. (100,000 families had their entire taxes used to pay for these fraudulent claims.)
• $12 million to buy Pakistani farmers new irrigation pumps because the U.S. Agency for International Development decided the old pumps were not energy efficient! (Another 1,200 families entire 2011 taxes went to buy irrigation pumps in Pakistan!)
• $4 billion, there’s that word billion again, in fraud and waste paying “Wartime Contractors” in Iraq and Afghanistan!
(This would take a whopping 400,000 families’ entire 2011 taxes just to cover the fraud and waste paying contractors in just two foreign countries!)
The list seems endless, so the next time you hear a federal politician say they need to raise our taxes or that they are cutting spending, show them this.
Here’s a few more just for fun. In 2011 Congress used your tax money and spent:
• $765,000 to build an International House of Pancakes (IHOP) in a suburb of Washington.
• $113,000 for the International Center for the History of Video Games.
• $100,000 for a “Celebrity Chef Fruit Promotion Road Show in Indonesia.”
• $150,000 to the American Museum of Magic.
• $550,000 to produce a film about how Rock and Roll helped bring down the Soviet Union.
• $703,000 to buy TVs and generators for 14 Vietnam villages that didn’t have electricity.
• $75,000 to promote Michigan’s Christmas tree business.
• $350,000 for the U.S. presentation at an art exhibit in Venice, Italy.
• $175,000 to study if cocaine enhances the sex drive of Japanese quail.
• $96,000 to buy iPads for students in one school district in Maine.
• $200,000 to study if politicians receive or lose votes if they adopt a “green” position on climate change.
We could go on, but you get the picture. Our country is floundering in debt, and is still borrowing over a trillion dollars each year.
Where is the leadership? Why doesn’t the president or someone in congress stand up and demand some “emergency” actions that will stop all this insane spending, except that which is absolutely essential to operating our government? Where is the outrage from the American people?
In days of old, people who were this irresponsible most likely got locked into a public stockade in the town square where citizens could toss fruit and vegetables at them, but in light of a recent study that cost us $592,527, we may want to reconsider this outdated food-tossing punishment.
You see, $592,527 of your hard earned tax money was spent in 2011 to study why chimpanzees often throw feces at passersby. The results showed that chimps who throw things are better communicators.
Since our votes don’t seem to change Washington and our letters and emails have little effect, I wonder if we should try this newly found communication technique.
In advance, Happy Tax Day!