The federal government gets plenty of well-deserved flack for its wasteful spending habits. Some of the crazy projects the federal government spends your tax dollars on would make a drunken sailor blush. Try this on for size: The United States Centers For Disease Control gave $181,406 of your hard earned dollars to The University of Kentucky to study the impact of cocaine on the sex drive of Japanese quail.
Wait, what? That can’t be real.
Oh but it is. It’s all too real and you can read all about it at the linked article here.
Federal spending priorities have become a sad joke and we Texans aren’t shy in joining in the laughter. But here’s the thing we don’t usually acknowledge; we’ve got spending problems of our own. This shouldn’t come as a big shock. We’re a big state with lots of layers of government, too many taxing authorities, and too many special interests to count. It’s not just state government in on the overspending action; it’s counties, cities, school districts, community colleges, MUD districts, hospital districts…..the list goes on. There are too many possible sources of wasteful spending in Lone Star State for anyone to keep track of.
That’s why we’re running the Texas Government Waste Contest. We want citizens from around the state to submit examples of wasteful programs and expenditures in their area so that we can compile a Texas version of Senator Tom Cobern’s federally focused Wastebook.
Are we going to catch the state funding studies that feed illegal drugs to migratory game birds? Not likely. But ordinary, garden-variety, mundane government waste is just as bad and in some cases arguably worse.
The city of Dallas, for example, decided to spend $4 Million to build a whitewater course on the Trinity River. At a location near downtown they placed concrete barriers to turn the normally placid waters into Class III rapids. After public complaints and some potential near death experiences the city had to spend hundreds of thousands more dollars on new studies and public safety measures. Apparently Dallas has so much money they just don’t know what to do with it all.
The city of Austin is building a new downtown library budgeted at $90 Million. Now, we like libraries but that sounds a bit expensive. Even so, it turns out they’re running….wait for it….over budget by the wee sum of $30 Million.
It’s high time we Texans took a break from pointing out wasteful spending at the federal level and cast an eye toward waste closer to home. There are 49 other states to keep an eye on Washington. Or 56 depending on who you ask.
Won’t you do your part to curb wasteful spending in our fair state by going over to the Texas Government Waste Contest and submitting an entry?