With the President once again calling for tax hikes to avert his looming sequestration, the House has decided to publish examples of government waste to show that spending cuts are more essential than generating new revenue off the backs of hard-working Americans.
Today’s example: Tax dollars to pay seniors to play video games.
That’s right. The National Science Foundation was awarded a $1.2 million grant to pay seniors to play the video game, World of Warcraft.
Via the House:
The President and Senate Democrats claim they have cut all the spending they can in their recent proposal, yet seniors continue to be paid to play video games.
CBS News reported on the study last year:
If Grandma’s favorite game is bingo, it may be time for a change. A new study suggests that the popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft may keep aging brains sharp.
For the study, researchers from North Carolina State University’s Gains Through Gaming lab tested 39 adults between ages 60 and 77. Twenty of those adults played World or Warcraft for 14 hours over the course of two weeks. The other 19 formed a control group that did not play WoW. The cognitive function of all the participants was tested both before and after the two-week study.
World of Warcraft for 14 hours, at a price tag of $1.2 million.
Which begs the question, why would the government use taxpayer money to pay seniors to do something that Occupiers would have done for free in their Mom’s basement?
A video of a government sponsored “Cultural Sensitivity Training” program has surfaced, showing USDA employees banging on tables and chanting in unison to the speakers instructions that “the pilgrims were illegal aliens”. Additionally, the political correctness gets ratcheted up a notch when the instructor tells his class that the term “minorities” is no longer acceptable, and instead suggests using the phrase “emerging majorities”. Nothing like a little government sponsored race-baiting to brighten up one’s day – to the tune of nearly $200,000.
Via Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch today released previously unseen USDA videos revealing a compulsory “Cultural Sensitivity Training” program requiring USDA employees to bang on tables, chanting in unison “The pilgrims were illegal aliens” while being instructed to no longer use the word “minorities,” but to replace it with “emerging majorities.” Judicial Watch received the videos pursuant to a May 18, 2012, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The sensitivity training sessions, described as “a huge expense” by diversity awareness trainer and self-described “citizen of the world” Samuel Betances, were held on USDA premises. The diversity event is apparently part of what USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack described in a memo sent to all agency employees as a “new era of Civil Rights” and “a broader effort towards cultural transformation at USDA.” In 2011 and 2012, the USDA paid Betances and his firm nearly $200,000 for their part in the “cultural transformation” program.
Here is the clip of the USDA employees being asked to shout “thank you black folks” and chant the phrase “pilgrims were illegal aliens”.
In watching the entire clip, one can hear Betances give a lecture on the evil white man from the United States taking over portions of Mexico. He surmises that illegal aliens should be given respect, because technically in his head, lands like Texas, California and New Mexico belonged to them in the first place.
Here is the entire clip for your enjoyment…
An independent auditor charged with examining New York state goverment spending on recovery and cleanup efforts after Superstorm Sandy, was fired almost immediately after filing the report according to the Albany Times Union.
The consultant, Thomas Sadowski, was escorted from the building in which he presented his spending report which indicated state employees had made questionable purchases and transactions.
Some of those transactions included “poor oversight of the use of state credit cards, orders for a fleet of SUVs and the purchase of iPads that did not seem necessary for recovery efforts.”
Sadowski‘s report merely provided suggestions on how to improve the state’s procurement practices, but was deemed threatening enough to the state spending spree that he was expelled.
Sadowski said he saw and heard things that disturbed him, including what appeared to be attempts to get the federal government to reimburse for expenses that were not directly related to storm response.
He said managers had no idea where assets were in the field and that procurement policies and practices were not up to the standards needed for response to a large-scale disaster.
Sadowski said one manager provided credit cards to employees who weren’t aware of how to document purchases, opening up opportunities for fraudulent and wasteful spending.
He said thousands of dollars of purchased and leased items went missing, could not be found promptly or were not used effectively while leasing bills mounted. He questioned the purchase of the Tahoe SUVs and the acquisition of several iPads for state emergency management personnel.
Bear in mind that New York will now be receiving a substantial portion of the recently passed $50.5 billion Sandy Aid package that some Republicans wanted to trim wasteful spending on – and were villified for doing so.
And herein lies why you don’t pull 42-year-old men out of their mother’s basement and hand them a job in the research department at the Pentagon.
The federal government spends money to fix the country’s infrastructure, help senior citizens get affordable access to health care and beef up national security, but did you know that it also pays for stuff like workshops on Star Trek musings?
The Washington Times reports that Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has brought to light some of the Pentagon’s non-security focused spending, which–as a small-government Republican–he naturally wants cut. Buried among the list of things the Pentagon supposedly spent money on, including a new form of rolled-up beef jerky, is this little gem:
$100,000 for a 2011 workshop on interstellar space travel that included a session entitled “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” The session probed how Christian theology would apply in the event of the discovery of aliens.
We’re unsure how a workshop focusing on the hypothetical mixture of Star Trek and Christian doctrine cost $100,000, unless they actually hosted it in space, but perhaps that new rolled-up beef jerky is expensive to cater.
Check out the report at the Washington Times, it actually gets worse. To give you an idea, the aforementioned beef jerky ran a tab of $1.5 million, with the funding coming from money that was designated for a weapons program.
How do you solve a problem like government waste and excess? Perhaps the better question would be, what would Jesus do?
James O’Keefe has released a new video from his Project Veritas website which shows union bosses confessing that the Green Jobs, Green New York program is ‘a lot of bulls***’.
Green Jobs – Green New York is a statewide program aimed at “promoting energy efficiency and installing clean technologies to reduce energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.
The program was created under former Governor David Patterson, and was funded using money that some would consider a scam in the first place – $112 million acquired by auctioning carbon emission credits through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
One union boss seen in the video below is John Hutchings, director of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) New York State Laborers’ Organizing Fund (NYSLOF).
“You know, the Green Jobs, Green New York, between us, a lot of it is bullshit… even if it’s bullshit, I think as long as people are working, that’s not bull, you know what I mean?”
Hutchings and other union members then try to demonstrate their expertise in the field of bulls*** businesses, when they try to help the individuals in the investigative video get taxpayer money for a fictitious and wholly useless business.
Here is a description of that business:
First, our excavation specialists insert their shovels into the ground and remove the soil. This presents the problem of an existing hole in the earth, creating a dangerous situation that could lead to hazards, including but not limited to tripping, falling, and bodily injuries.
Then there is the renewal process. At Earth Supply, we train professional backfillers to renew the soil in place of the existing hole, restoring the earth to its original condition.
Some folks say we’re just digging ditches and filling them back up again. But it’s about more than that. It’s about jobs.
They’ve created a business that digs holes and then fills them back in. And when they ask local union bosses to move subsidies through legislatures for that type of company, the unions are more than willing to lend a hand.
The justification? The fake company has created new union members.
What’s more is that these union people essentially admit to having no concern about wasting taxpayer money on the project.
One business manager for the local AFL-CIO branch compares the dead end hole-digging enterprise to a program run under FDR in the ’30s.
“They dug the roads up, put ‘em back!” says an animated Tocci.
Says Tocci, “You just wanna get the money. Then you figure out afterward.”
To pressure legislators into going along with the union scheme, the group intends to use well-placed lobbying firms that will make the claim that the fictitious company will create jobs, and provide more union laborers who will receive union benefits. These firms will lobby both Democrat and Republican politicians, and are very tight with Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Just another example of taxpayer money being wasted at the disposal of unions in New York State.