Allen B. West

Your tax dollars funded Swedish massages for rabbits (which were killed afterwards)

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This week we brought to your attention the nearly $800 million the government has paid federal government employees while on leave — often for disciplinary reasons. And wouldn’t you know, the government Wastebook for 2014 would follow — and it has some real winners. How can you top shrimp on a treadmill? Yep, Sen. Tom Coburn found something even more egregious.

As reported by the Washington Times, “More than a dozen lucky rabbits were given Swedish massages four times a day, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers, as part of a study to figure out whether massage can help recovery times after strenuous exercise — a practice Sen. Tom Coburn says makes a mockery of federal spending. The rabbit massages are one of the hundred wasteful products Mr. Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, identified in his latest edition of the Wastebook, an annual compendium of the ridiculous and outrageous items in government spending, which he released on Wednesday.”

Who was that group running the ad blaming the GOP for cuts to the NIH and CDC, which prevented development of an Ebola vaccine? Seems we were wasting money on Swedish massages for rabbits instead. The time has to come when American taxpayers no longer accept this obscene use of our tax resources.

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The Times says, “the rabbits weren’t put on treadmills but were forced to exercise in order to create stress. Some of the rabbits were then given immediate massages, some were given delayed massages, and the unlucky ones weren’t given any massages at all. Scientists then tried to figure out if the massages helped. Taxpayers paid $387,000 for the two-year study, which concluded that other studies were right, and massage seemed to help in recovery — though it wasn’t clear that rabbit physiology could be extrapolated to humans. The rabbits were euthanized at the end of the study, Mr. Coburn’s report says.”

Oh NO!! The bunnies were KILLED?? So where is PETA on this? Remind me never to allow the federal government to pay for my Swedish massage!

Other highlights, according to the Times, included “the National Science Foundation paying academics to teach monkeys to gamble, government sponsorship of a children’s play about brain-eating zombies and a first-person combat shooting video game the Army developed — but which intelligence officials fear terrorists could use to train their own recruits. Indeed, Hezbollah has adapted the game’s design to train suicide martyrs. Mr. Coburn’s investigators also found scientists putting mountain lions, monkeys, rats and cows on treadmills.” See, they just couldn’t stop at shrimp.

When does this end? The basic problem is our electorate doesn’t pay attention to this gross negligence and abuse of government. We have political debates, which are just clown shows and never get to the essence of critical issues such as tax, regulatory, monetary, and government reform.

We still have folks using tired political marketing gimmicks like “the war on women” instead of addressing the dangers of wasteful government spending — which in the end means growing debt and a greater fiscal burden on subsequent generations.

Everyday, hard-working American middle-income families are busting their arses to make ends meet — many have just given up on the job market. But there’s a bigger scheme at play here where the federal government is moving towards a two-class system: those who work for government and those who are dependent upon government. And in the end, as those two classes grow, it becomes rather simple what happens in federal level elections. No one in government or on government subsistence is going to listen to someone advocating for government spending reforms — of course the progressive socialists use this as a means of fear mongering — and some Republicans do as well.

The point is coming where American taxpayers will finally realize they are no longer working for themselves and their economic freedom, future, and prosperity. American taxpayers are working so bunny rabbits get massages and federal government employees get paid to hang out at home — and you have to ask, how many worked second jobs while being paid by the government?

The Times says, “the Department of Agriculture said it needed better guidance from the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM), but said it will also look at its own policies to see if changes are needed internally. “Given the high cost to taxpayers, it is important that each federal agency increase its accountability and improve its stewardship of the use of paid administrative leave,” William P. Milton Jr., a human resources official at the department, wrote in an official reply to the study.”

You want guidance, OPM? Just do what’s right and remember your initials also stand for Other People’s Money. Find somewhere an ounce of integrity and accountability to realize it’s not your money to waste.

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