Every day, dim-witted ideas to waste your dollars and mine are floated by a federal government that clearly has no idea what to do with the tax money it devours.
All it takes to sample a few of them are a strong stomach and a computer to peruse the absurd and awful ideas that are being funded by federal grants. The website lists all the things the feds plan to spend money on. Some, of course, are important — money for local police and fire agencies, colleges, or schools.
Then there are ones like “Together.”
“Together” is a grant program through USAID that plans to spend $14 million. Its purpose: “to improve meaningful engagement among citizens, civil society and the Royal Thai Government to reduce drivers of latent and violent conflict in Thailand.”
Say what? Isn’t that maybe Thailand’s business?
In discussing the goals of the project, the Notice of Funding Opportunity makes it clear that this is an exercise in political correctness, by emphasizing the need for the project to include “marginalized groups such as women; ethnic minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals; religious minorities; and youth.”
Many grants send money overseas for a wide variety of purposes:
The Great Ape Conservation Program will spend $3 million to help Africa retain a great ape population.
The Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund wants to spend $1.5 million in Asia.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is looking to grant away $1 million through the South America Regional Program to implement “a results-based approach to conserving priority species, habitats and ecological processes across landscapes with high biodiversity value in South America.”
Not all the amounts are huge, but when you add up $200,000 to teach the Armenians how to fight corruption, $1.3 million to teach the people of Panama about democracy in Panama, and $2.5 million to address issues related to Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal, pretty soon you end up with a lot of tax dollars heading overseas to support programs that might be nice in a world of endless money, but seem to pale in significance when high schools produce graduates who cannot read, police agencies are desperate for resources to patrol America’s streets and the military is stretched thin as it defends freedom around the globe.
And some, like “Together,” just make you want to shake some bureaucrat by the lapels of its suit and demand why our money is wasted this way.
Call it the Deep State, the Swamp, or an endless waste of money — the wheels of government churn out these grants, spewing forth millions of dollars to nations that generally hate America at a time when domestic programs go begging.
Throughout the Trump administration, the Department of State has been the source of endless leaks and hand-wringing about the fact that President Donald Trump has begun taking a scalpel to the endless layers of budgetary fat that are exposed in just a quick sample of the grant programs offered by the State Department or .
Perhaps they have a point. As just a quick review of the waste reveals, it is time to trade in the scalpel, Mr. President, and pick up an ax.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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