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By:  Marilyn Assenheim

No, that isn’t the opening salvo of a joke. There is, however, a connection that is much more serious than a bad gag. The link is profligate federal spending.

Last week it was learned that the National Institute of Health was granted $1.5 million in 2013 to study why lesbians have weight problems. This week it has been learned that, for this year, the National Institute of Health has been approved for an additional $2.7 million to delve into another, emerging crisis in the gay community’s wellbeing: Why are lesbians at increased risk for drinking problems?

But on to the elephants.  The Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Services has awarded $1.5 million dollars, in part, in order to (wait for it) “decrease human and elephant conflict.” A nod to the sequester was a reduction from 2011 and 2012 levels of funding for this identical purpose. In each of those years the endowment was $3.8 million.  Elephants do require help. But, the best part is that the grant requires no documentation or credentials in order to qualify for financial support. For the humans that is.  How great is that? The grant extends to some international recipients. Wicked nations such as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria are, however, excluded. Straight financial support is okay for some of them but elephant grants are definitely out. What a relief! One is forced to ask, however, why Indian elephants are being discriminated against?  Or are they covered under the H1-B program?

These stories may produce an almost irresistible urge to compare the weight dilemma confronting lesbians (snowballing into an alcoholism catastrophe, one assumes) with the size of elephants. The reality of such preposterous government sponsorship is, however, no joke. The issue is not why government is throwing money at these, particular issues; the question should be why is government money (meaning your money) being flushed away at all?

The federal government forever shrieks as if skewered that no money can be cut from anywhere. Entitlement projects initiated by the federal government are visited upon the nation whether they are Constitutional or not.  And make no mistake; these are examples of academic welfare programs for the enlightened, the educated. The federal government has an enormous site, listing hundreds more such grant-funded projects, eye-popping, outrageous ventures totally unworthy of pursuit. Robert Heinlein once wrote that “most scientists are bottle washers and button sorters.” Although certainly not true for everyone, the phrase is more than appropriate for frivolous “researchers.”  It is only logical that such learned infants would beat a path from the sheltered womb of higher education to the government teat. Those seeking government sustenance solely to finance their continued indolence, some without even being required to offer credentials, are thieves once removed; after all, the federal government proffers it to them after confiscating it from taxpayers.  But hey, it apparently beats working.

Any proposed tax decreases are attended by the wailing and gnashing of teeth from Capitol Hill.  Perpetual cries of “How are we going to pay for that?” are deafeningly broadcast then rebound from every complicit, mainstream media outlet. The facts are,  however, simple and obvious. “They” don’t pay for it. Every cent the federal government takes comes from taxes the American people are compelled, by force, to fork over. What is really being said is “Be grateful for what we permit you to keep.”

Currently, when the federal government doesn’t think it has enough money it simply prints more. This is called “quantitative easing.” As of this writing, the U.S. has embarked on QE 3. That is not a euphemism for a cruise ship. It means the devaluation of our currency by releasing more paper without anything to back it up.

If government overspending stopped right now the national debt would still be so gargantuan that our great-great grandchildren would still be passing it on to their heirs. The highway robbery that had been proposed in Cyprus, where every, private bank account would have been siphoned by the government of Cyprus (as a “one time,” promise!) charge to Cypriot nationals should have been an alarm. The Lyin’ King’s refusal to offer an opinion on such an unthinkable action should have produced a deafening cacophony. Such an unimaginable act was cited by Forbes magazine as the most irresponsible fiscal act since the 1930’s. Absconding with private funds is being considered by several, cash-starved European countries. The move has been set aside by Cyprus. For now. But how long before it does get instituted? More significantly, how long will it be before it is adopted here?

The federal government is stealing from future generations to pay for its addiction to irresponsible spending.  Maybe the real question is not “what do lesbians and elephants have in common?”Maybe it should be “what do lesbians and elephantine government spending have in common?”

About the author:

Marilyn Assenheim was born and raised in New York City.  She spent a career in healthcare management; although she probably should have been a casting director, or a cowboy. A serious devotee of history and politics, Marilyn currently lives in the NYC metropolitan area.