Guy W. Farmer: Dems find ways to spend our hard-earned money
Special to the Nevada Appeal
Now that President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have convinced Congress – congressional Democrats, that is – to pass a pork-laden, trillion-dollar health care reform plan, I’d like to reveal other creative ways our elected representatives have devised to spend our hard-earned tax dollars. Here are a few illustrative examples:
• $2.6 million to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly (and no, I’m not making this up).
• $2.2 million to construct a water pipeline to a money-losing golf course in San Francisco, Ms. Pelosi’s hometown.
• $25 billion annually to maintain unused or vacant federal properties.
• And “only” $1.57 million for fossil research in Argentina. Such a bargain!
Federal bureaucrats were creative too. The Securities and Exchanges Commission spent $3.9 million to rearrange office furniture at its Washington, D.C. headquarters and the Federal Aviation Administration spent $5 million to send 3,600 managers to three conferences at a luxury hotel in Atlanta. FAA whistle-blowers called it a three-week-long Christmas party. Nice work if you can get it.
But not to worry because Congress just raised the national debt ceiling to $12.4 trillion, a massive $290 billion increase over the current debt limit. Our kids and grandkids will be stuck with the bill but who cares because we’ll be long gone by then.
This federal spending binge is taking place while the people who pay the bills – that would be us, the taxpayers – are struggling to make ends meet in a weak economy with unemployment hovering around 13 percent in Nevada.
Meanwhile, our elected representatives say everything is fine because federal funds are “free.” So if Obama sends me a check for $250 I should be grateful even though he’s merely refunding a small portion of what I pay in federal income taxes.
On the local level city officials tell us that we’re super-enthusiastic about the $80 million Carson Nugget redevelopment project, which will eventually cost taxpayers around $40 million. Before joining the me-too chorus I’d like to know more about the out-of-state promoters of this project. Who are they, what is their previous track record and what do they know about Carson City? They use catchy buzzwords like “business incubators” and “digital media center,” but what do those terms really mean? It all reminds me of the “upscale lifestyle center” that a former city manager was going to build at Fuji Park. Remember that one?
Mayor Bob Crowell and the Carson City Board of Supervisors should proceed with due diligence before buying into this multimillion-dollar scheme to “save” Carson City, no matter how good it sounds right now.
• Guy W. Farmer, a semi-retired journalist, has been a Carson City resident since 1962.