On February 8, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul used his time to speak on the Senate floor in two very constructive ways.
First, he exposed the fact that the Senate had been given just 12 hours to read the 700-page omnibus spending bill.
Second, he shed light on numerous little-known and bizarre federal expenditures over the past few years. Here are some of his greatest hits:
One. Between 2011 and 2015, the Department of Defense spent $43 million on “reducing the carbon footprint” of Afghanis by building a compressed natural gas (CNG) station for CNG-powered cars. When no Afghanis visited, they realized people didn’t have the cars, so they spent money to help them buy CNG cars. When they realized people didn’t have the money to buy the CNG, they gave them credit cards to buy it.
Two. The National Science Foundation spent $700,000 to conduct a study as to whether astronaut Neil Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” or he said, “That’s one small step for a man…”
Three. In 2013, the National Science Foundation blew $45,000 of taxpayers’ money on creating a video game about “Climate Change.”
Four. In 2016, the National Science Foundation tossed $500,000 at a study to find out whether the process of taking “selfie” photos made people happier.
Five. In 2015, the feds shelled out $850,000 to create a televised cricket league in Afghanistan.
Six. Also in 2015, the US government spent $250,000 to bring 24 Pakistani children to Space Camp and Dollywood in the US.
Seven. Between 2010 and 2012, the feds spent $1.6 million on a streetcar that goes a mile, and which no one rides.
Eight. The Department of Defense lost $29 million worth of heavy equipment in Afghanistan.
And there are many more. Every week, Senator Paul -- who heads the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management -- releases his “Waste Report,” which is never wanting for material. And every year, Paul speaks on the Senate floor about this waste and unconstitutional activity.
Yet Rep. Charlie Dent, a Republican, told Politico: “When Rand Paul pulls a stunt like this, it easy to understand why it’s difficult to be Rand Paul’s next door neighbor,” implying that when Paul’s neighbor, Rene Boucher, assaulted him (Boucher’s agreed to plead guilty), he was somehow justified in the attack.
Class. All the way.
Meanwhile, Rand Paul heals and offers common sense. Too bad it’s so uncommon in the U.S. government.
(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)