APRIL 11, 2014
Long rocked by scandal, fraud and waste the federal agency that funds science and research in the United States is playing the China card to persuade Congress to approve an $83 million increase to its already excessive $7.2 billion annual budget.
If Congress doesn’t grant the colossal increment, China’s science budget will be larger than the U.S.’s in about 10 years and that can only mean Chinese superiority in an area already known to be a weakness in this country. At least that’s what National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Cora Marrett told a House Appropriations committee recently as she made a case for more money. “This investment moves our nation forward,” Marrett, a sociologist, told lawmakers adding that the extra cash will help the economy grow, create high-quality jobs and ensure national security.
She went on to say that the NSF has played a significant role in U.S. prosperity and that for decades the agency has supported scientists and engineers in their pursuit of world-changing discoveries and innovation. Marrett even threw in the hundreds of Nobel Prize recipients that got NSF funding for their work in physics, chemistry, medicine and economics. “Today, their transformative work addresses society’s grand challenges in the areas of energy, environment and health as well as national and economic security,” Marrett said.
It was a gripping delivery that conveniently omitted all of the outrageous projects her agency wastes taxpayer dollars on. Judicial Watch has documented them over the years as well as the scandals that have rocked the NSF. For instance, a few years ago the agency’s inspector general revealed that NSF employees spend significant portions of their workdays watching, downloading and e-mailing pornography on government computers without ever getting caught. The porn surfing costs taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, according to the agency watchdog.
In the last few years alone the NSF has blown millions of dollars to fund a number of outrageous projects, including $142,000 to study dinosaur eggs in China, $700,000 on a Broadway play about climate change and north of $1 million on a stress study involving baboons in Kenya’s Amboseli Basin. The earth-shattering findings of that important project revealed that African baboon fecal samples show alpha males have elevated stress levels, indicating that a high social rank—long considered a benefit in many animal societies—actually brings conflict and stress. Undoubtedly, Americans are sleeping better at night after learning this crucial information about monkey’s eight time zones away!
The NSF has also dedicated a chunk of change to global warming causes in recent years, especially in poor and underserved communities, Obama administration favorites. Just a few months ago JW reported that the NSF gave a public university in Arizona more than $4 million to research the effects of climate change in low-income areas. This includes the study of “urban climate adaptation” and examining “resilience and vulnerability to climate change.” A few years ago the NSF funded a ridiculous global warming study that used computer simulations to determine that the crisis is way more severe than what it appears to be because the ocean is storing the heat that damages the earth. Taking all this into account, the last thing federal lawmakers should do is give the NSF more of our taxpayer dollars.
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