Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
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Heartland Research Fellow Benjamin Domenech was invited to be a guest on the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” this week to talk about a new study from our friends at the Heritage Foundation on wasteful spending. Before we get to the video, here are some examples of what your tax dollars paid for:
- $300,000 to determine that the first bird on earth probably had black feathers.
- $450,000 on a federal study to discover that “robot nannies” can’t keep a baby’s attention.
- $681,387 to establish, for all time, that dudes look manlier when they are holding a firearm.
- $516,00 to create a video game that simulates a high school prom.
- $350,000 to confirm that golfers sink more putts if they imagine the hole is bigger than it actually is.
- $300,000 promoting the production and sale of caviar from … Idaho.
- $149,992 studying how to prevent co-eds from packing on the dreaded “freshman 15.”
Regular liberal Fox News Contributor Tamara Holder was given the task of defending such waste of hard-earned tax dollars. She took to it more vigorously than one would expect — and laughed her head off while doing it.
Ben didn’t think it was so funny, and quoted Calvin Coolidge — which is fitting, since Heartland recently hosted a Coolidge biographer at a luncheon event. Said Ben, quoting Coolidge: “Every dollar that we carelessly waste makes the life of an American that much more meager.” Then he added his own two cents:
This money doesn’t grow on trees, but comes from the American people.
Holder, nonplussed, kept laughing it up, mocking conservatives for making such a big deal about a few hundred thousand here and there tossed to the social sciences so we can “understand other humans.” Ben set her straight:
You’re missing the point. It’s not about the size of it, it’s the principle of the thing — the idea that maybe there are some things government shouldn’t do, and that these are some of those things because these are particularly ridiculous.
Tamara’s retort was that the “real waste of money” comes from private individuals “giving money to the Heritage Foundation.” Umm … those contributions are voluntary. The funding for these frivolous studies were conscripted from American taxpayers. That Tamara doesn’t know the difference — or pretends to not know the difference as she derides “the chick” at Heritage who produced “a picture book” outlining these absurdities — is quite damning on many levels.
As Ben noted, President Obama’s economy is becoming ever-more restrictive and painful for Americans who are increasingly relegated to part-time jobs (because employers are trying to flee Obamacare mandates) and struggling to make ends meet.
You want to take money out of their pockets and put tit towards these points? You think they are really that important? An answer to the “freshman 15.” … The point is, you’re still running shrimps on treadmills and measuring their activity. This is ridiculous.
Again, Holder offered no defense (this waste is indefensible, so who could blame her?) and she demanded to know what conservatives think should be funded by the federal government.
Watch the video to see the excellent response from Sean Hannity and Ben Domenech: