Obamacare is not the only project which should be defunded by the hot potato CR being thrown from the House of Representatives to the Senate and back. Others (including a study of US attitudes toward this week’s filibuster) are being completely ignored by our representatives.

Senator Tom Coburn who publishes an annual “Wastebook” report, says the Continuing Resolution funding bill Congress is currently considering is full of taxpayer money-wasting government grants.

“The big spenders say sequestration has cut government to the bone, yet this restraint is helping to heal our economy by reducing the debt – and deferred taxes – on future generations. And in terms of waste, we’ve just scratched the surface.

Elsewhere, just this week the government celebrated Christmas in September by funding numerous Christmas tree projects across the country plus a number of other stupid projects like junkets for Chinese wine connoisseurs and a maple syrup recipe contest. Let’s defund wasteful spending, not just Obamacare. And let’s shut down wasteful spending in all its forms.”

Examples of wasteful spending projects pointed out by Coburn as being supported by the CR include:

  • Funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the development of “Snooki,” a robot bird that impersonates a female sage grouse to examine the importance of courtship tactics of males.
  • Funding for an NSF grant that studies Americans’ attitudes towards the U.S. Senate filibuster
  • NSF grant to SiteJabber.com, a new website to rate the trustworthiness of other websites
  • NSF grant funding to EcoATM, a company commercializing an “ATM” to give out cash in exchange for old cell phones and other electronics
  • NSF grant paying for participants’ expenses to attend an annual snowmobile competition in Michigan through 2015
  • NSF grant paying for meditation and self-reflection for math, science, and engineering majors
  • Four-year NSF grant that funds displays along the six Indianapolis waterways, used to display paintings about Indianapolis’s water system.
  • The Institute of Museum and Library Sciences is funding “Puppets Take Long Island,” a puppet festival at a Long Island New York children’s museum.

Coburn also provided examples of wasteful spending to shutdown announced just this week:

  • Thirty five wine projects, such as funding for 10 grants to support wine tasting including wine trail smartphone apps to help “navigate to the next winery.”
  • Four Christmas tree initiatives, including support to promote Virginia Christmas trees, to shear Michigan Christmas trees, and training seminars on best practices for exporting Christmas trees
  • The “USA Pear Road Show” to China, a federally funded trip to Asia to advertise American pears.
  • Social media for apples (the fruit not the technology company).
  • Radio advertisements about New Jersey blueberries
  • Two promotional campaigns to promote strawberries
  • Funding for  the  Organizing Maple Weekend in Massachusetts which includes a recipe contest
  • Funding for a YouTube video promoting proper handling of watermelon (Georgia Watermelon Association)

The CR passed by the Senate on Friday set fiscal year 2014 spending at $20 billion more than the spending caps set by the  Budget Control Act, on top of that (according to Senator Coburn) it includes $18 billion in short-term accounting gimmicks which means the Senate is violating the spending caps by $38 billion.”

The effort to defund and or/delay Obamacare is an crucial to the future of the country, but so is the goal to get government funding under control. It is sad that members of congress are concentrating on the first goal, without keeping in mind the second.