Washington Has (Your) Money to Burn!

02 Dec

Washington Has (Your) Money to Burn!

It’s in your best interest to read this post. After all, it’s your money they’re burning.

How about the US Agency for International Development throwing $22,000,000 at a “sustainable local development” budget that includes the crucial mission of bringing Serbian cheeses up to international standards?

Or how about Operation Golden Potty?  $500,000.  And hooking fish on nicotine?  $708,466.

I’ll get to those in a moment.

Senator Rand Paul has released his new Waste Report.  No sensible American can be pleased by what it tells about your tax dollars at work.  The Federal Reserve’s monetary regime has so warped Washington’s understanding of money – after all, it can just “print” trillions of it if it wants – that throwing money away is like a sport in DC.

And since the Fed has provided Washington with interest rates so low – the government can borrow money for ten years at less than two percent – and that’s as good as free to politicians – they borrow like there’s no tomorrow.

But of course, everything Washington spends comes from the productivity of real people.  You.  Me.  Us.  When it prints money, it dilutes the value of the money we own.  When it borrows, it leaves us on the hook for repayment.  Every dollar Washington spends is a burden, a tax, on all of us.

At the risk of making your blood boil, here are some examples of your tax dollars at work, direct from Senator Paul’s Fall 2019 edition of The Waste Report:

  • Flushing Money Down the Drain:  From 2003 to 2017, according to the Office of Inspector General, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority spent “approximately $500,000 maintaining a single self-cleaning toilet located at the Huntington Metro Station.”  The OIG cannot definitively state how much was spent because Metro lost invoices for 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
  • Your Money Going Up in Smoke:  The National Institutes of Health is sponsoring a nearly five-year project that involves actively addicting its subjects, Zebrafish, to nicotine.  The project, being conducted at the Queen Mary University of London, will cost the American taxpayer $708,466.58.
  • Blowing (Money) in the Wind:  The State Department [bought] an original Bob Dylan sculpture, for $84,375,61 to place in its embassy in Mozambique.
  • How Do You Spell “Waste” in Hieroglyphics?  The US government is investing up to $16 million to improve the quality of the Egyptian educational system.

There’s a lot more where that came from.  Millions on a program that includes unused textbooks rotting away in warehouses in Afghanistan.  Up to $300,000 on debate and Model United Nations competitions in Afghanistan.  The National Institutes of Health spending $4,658,865 over several years to study the connection between drinking alcohol, hurting yourself or somebody else, and winding up in the Emergency Room.  You don’t suppose?

Look, these cases are just symptoms, but they are symptoms of a much bigger problem, one that matters a great deal.  As a headline in The Hill read the other day, “Trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and hardly a voice of caution to be heard.”

What will happen?  Eventually interest rates will go up and the debt that ballooned during the era of low rates will become unpayable.  The printing presses will run overtime to try to fix the problem, but that will only tank the dollar.  The markets will discount each new round of money printing by demanding still higher interest rates, tanking the economy, too. 

Gold prices will explode.  

Maybe the people will storm the castle walls with pitchforks, looking for the people that did this to America.  But it won’t matter, because the damage will already have been done.  

But what will matter to you and your family is that you protected yourselves and your wealth with gold.