I don’t know what is more offensive to me – being lied to or being taken for a fool. It’s a tossup; and right now, most of the politicians in Washington are vying for the top spot for doing BOTH of those.
Today, I’m about to add Rand Paul to the list. I personally thought he was better than those tactics; but nope – just did it.
Paul recently went on Fox News and blasted the Department of Defense on the sequester scare (rightfully so) but then continued and highlighted 5.2 million of DoD wasteful spending on a study of democracy and goldfish. Why? Why did he go there?
Maybe some people hear that and think “damn right, wasteful government” and give R. Paul props. I myself think “something doesn’t sound right here“. I’m in the military, and I can assure you there is waste to be cut; but most of it is due to the inefficiency of the large bureaucracy – not overpriced studies. But I’m no expert, so I start digging.
My research is very hard and secretive and takes a long time and lots of skill, but I can train anyone in 10 seconds.
What?! Really, I can – watch this. G-O-O-G-L-E. Yup! Then, of course, you have to read the results. That’s it. The research for this post took about 34 minutes; I timed it.
Anyways, here’s the result:
FACT: Rand Paul is either very uninformed OR deliberately misleading to an uninformed electorate. Pick one. See, I didn’t say lie – that would be an intentional specific mistruth. That would be the department of Obama and Mr. Boehner blaming each other over the Sequester. Remember this song on Saturday morning cartoons: “I’m just a bill, sitting on Capitol Hill”? Well, guess what – 5th grade social studies class will tell you that the Speaker had to put the bill on the floor, then it has to pass a Republican-held House and a Democrat-held Senate, and the President had to sign it. Pretty simple; they ALL are to blame.
But I’m getting sidetracked – I’ll wrap this up. The study is partially paid for by the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research in cooperation with six other non-government partners; and it’s a four-year study over multiple topics, all within the Department of oceanographic and ecology with Princeton. Rand mentioned ONE study out of 13 published in 2012, not to mention the 34 published in the three years prior. I could not find the specific grant amounts. But just for a hypothetical example, if all patterns were equal and all studies cost the same, that means the “group decision-making experiments on fish, mathematical models and computer simulations project” cost taxpayers $18,500 – roughly.
I’m not arguing the validity of the study (I could, but I won’t). The point is this – Paul is misleading. Where did the rest of that money go? It went to studies on underwater drone development for the purpose of oil clean-up and radioactive leak detection and containment.
Does that make a difference to his point of spending? Yes. This study is not waste. He may not agree with it, but waste is unintentional loss or inefficiency. This would be waste if they paid three different people to do the same study, but that is not the case. He could have even found another $2,000 pentagon toilet seat from 90′s – which was not waste either; it was fraud, and there is a difference. With Coburn’s report of DoD spending, he could have chosen many things. In my opinion, he chose the most the most “outrageous sounding” item to rile up his base. Poor choice.
We as the public need to start calling these politicians out on their blatant misrepresentations because the mainstream media is tainted; they have forgotten how to do their job. MSNBC and FOX might as well be extensions of the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively of course. We The People need to keep our leaders in check; and that means not taking anything anyone says for granted as gospel – and that includes me . Check my sources, and then YOU decide.
Welcome to the new and INFORMED you.
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