As America is waiting for the House of Representatives to vote on Friday for a $1.2 trillion health care reform bill, the folks at the Washington Examiner were kind enough today to remind us where our taxpayer money from the last Democrat-shepherded monstrosity has gone.
Here’s only a portion of the list highlighted by the Examiner, the destination point for funds associated with a piece of legislation “promised as a job saver and economy booster”:
- $300,000 for a GPS-equipped helicopter to hunt for radioactive rabbit droppings at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state.
- $30 million for a spring training baseball complex for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
- $11 million for Microsoft to built a bridge connecting its two headquarter campuses in Redmond, Wash., which are separated by a highway.
- $430,000 to repair a bridge in Iowa County, Wis., that carries 10 or fewer cars per day.
- $800,000 for the John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, Pa., serving about 20 passengers per day, to built a backup runway.
- $219,000 for Syracuse University to study the sex lives of freshmen women.
- $2.3 million for the U.S. Forest Service to rear large numbers of arthropods, including the Asian longhorned beetle, the nun moth and the woolly adelgid.
- $3.4 million for a 13-foot tunnel for turtles and other wildlife attempting to cross U.S. 27 in Lake Jackson, Fla.
- $1.15 million to install a guardrail for a persistently dry lake bed in Guymon, Okla.
- $9.38 million to renovate a century-old train depot in Lancaster County, Pa., that has not been used for three decades.
- $2.5 million in stimulus checks sent to the deceased.
And remember — this is only part of it.
I’d love to say that this was a surprise. But it isn’t. Not even close. It’s not as though much of my time in February wasn’t spent writing about the mountains of pork and other non-stimulative proposals included in the legislation. Even then, we knew that the stimulus package wasn’t about stimulus but about spending, control and the expansion of government.
Think about it, though. That’s your money. That’s what you earn. That’s the difference on your pay stub between gross and net income. And consider what’s going to happen should the federal government wrest control of health care. Consider how your tax money will be spent should more than one hundred new panels, agencies, commissions, committees and other bureaucracies be created by a bill with a cost which has already grown by $300 billion over the past two weeks alone.
The answer is less government, not more. If radioactive rabbit droppings are such a concern, responsibility for them should fall on the nuclear facility involved, not the responsibility of the federal government. (Unless, of course, we’re collecting the radioactive droppings and air-dropping them in the Af-Pak region, where I’m fairly sure they’re a delicacy among America-hating, cave-dwelling jihadists.) If a small town feels it so necessary to spend $71,000 for a hybrid car to broadcast that town’s energy policy, let that municipality explain to its residents why their taxes are rising. And when it comes to street beautification in Ann Arbor–the Berkeley of the American midwest–perhaps that money should come from an additional surcharge for Michigan football games, or from increased parking costs on weekends.
And $3.4 million for a wildlife tunnel under a Florida highway? Seriously? Are we staffing the darned thing with Junior Park Rangers to ensure that the turtles and squirrels and swamp rats find the tunnel, or is the tunnel just there for the benefit of any such creatures and critters who happen upon it? Is turning a chipmunk into roadkill now punishable by law?
The point is, I don’t care where it comes from. I just don’t want it coming from me unless I choose it to. My wallet is not your wallet. The contents of my wife’s knockoff handbag should not be looted by those who want concrete toilets in Missouri. And, when it comes to health care, we should not have to sacrifice the freedom and quality of a free-market health care system in order to accommodate the Democrats’ thirst for power in perpetuity.
Look at how your money was spent. And that was just one solitary $787 billion bill. We’re about to pass the largest entitlement program ever, a blank check for bigger government.