Tax Dollars at Work: Mountain Lions on Treadmills

Photo credit of Nancy Howard, Colorado Parks & Wildlife via UCSC.edu

Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) released his final Wastebook on Wednesday, and it did not disappoint.

Dr. Coburn, who is retiring after this term, chronicled $25 billion spent on 100 “silly, unnecessary, and low priority projects,” this year. The report touches nearly every agency, finding that the federal government is still spending taxpayer dollars to put animals on treadmills and subsidize wine.

Ebola v. Obesity: The Politicized NIH

NIH Director Francis S. Collins, with President Obama

For over a year, the Washington Free Beacon’s Elizabeth Harrington has been documenting research grants provided by the National Institutes of Health to recipients like an obvious conman who said he wanted to bring origami condoms to the world ($2.5 million) and teams studying if obese people could be persuaded to lose weight by having the government text message them ($2.7 million). Last week, with the NIH’s budget in the spotlight—courtesy of the director of the NIH himself, Dr. Francis Collins, who claimed that an Ebola vaccine would likely exist today were it not for a “10-year-slide in research support” for his organization—Harrington wrote a round-up of her work on this issue, observing that the total amount of absurd NIH funding she had chronicled amounted to nearly $40 million, all of which would obviously have been better spent on an Ebola vaccine—or on cancer, or on HIV/AIDS, or on any number of worthy medical causes.