In the spirit of the fictitious Seinfeld holiday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has released The Festivus Report 2019, an annual report to highlight wasteful government spending.
“Happy Festivus! Another year gone already,” writes Paul in the introduction to the 2019 report. “It seems like just yesterday I was sounding the alarm over a $20 trillion debt, and now the U.S. has pushed past $23 trillion! The more things changed in 2019, the more they stayed the same.”
In the report, Paul draws attention to over $50 billion in government waste, which was spent on everything from a grant in which a “significant portion” of the funds went to studying the mating calls of frogs in Panama ($466,991), a program under which the U.S. supplies children in Afghanistan with textbooks, many of which turned out to be subpar or otherwise unusable ($33,921,175), and helping the Peruvian government to develop a “Green New Deal” (up to $10,000,000).
Paul highlights the outrageous nature of funding a Green New Deal abroad while Democrats are unable to gather a single vote in the U.S. Senate for the plan domestically.
In March 2019, the U.S. Senate unanimously rejected a suite of policies, dubbed the “Green New Deal,” proposed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), which proponents claim will support “green growth” in the United States. By a vote of 0-57, with 43 Senate Democrats, including every Democrat senator running for President of the United States, abstaining in “protest,” the representatives of the American people roundly rejected these policies.
Whereas every senator, Republican and Democrat, refused to support the policies on the record, (perhaps recognizing the devastating damage implementation would do to the American job market and larger economy), Green New Deal bureaucrats at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) apparently feel some sympathy for them. How else can one explain the agency spending $10 million to develop “Green Growth in Peru”?
That’s right! USAID is committing “up to” 10 million American taxpayer dollars “to develop new and innovative alliances with the private sector that advance environmentally-friendly economic development (i.e., green growth in Peru).” They add, “The envisioned activities will facilitate private sector financing and investment in value chains that lead to improved management of natural resources and a reduction of GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions.”
Another outrageous government expenditure Paul uncovered includes the fact that the U.S. Agency for International Development spent “part of a $22,000,000.00 project” to help the Serbian Regional Center for Agricultural Development improve the quality of Serbian cheese to match international cheese standards.
Who doesn’t like a good piece of cheese? Whether its cheddar, Swiss, provolone, or simply American cheese, everybody has their preference. And thanks to USAID, your new favorite might eventually be from Sjenica, Serbia!
That’s right! USAID spent part of a $22 million “Sustainable Local Development Project” training the staff at the Regional Center for Agricultural Development (RCAD) in Sjenica, Serbia, to follow the cheese standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and help producers adopt best practices….
What tangible skills did USAID help impart? Well, “RCAD’s staff was trained to introduce and implement ISO standards, to properly sample milk and meat products at local farms, to calibrate laboratory equipment, and to advise farmers on improving the safety and quality of their products,” a company that implemented the overall Development Project reported.
Paul says that the U.S. is currently approaching a 1.4 billion pound cheese surplus, noting that “American dairy farmers dealing with the realities of this situation might be cheesed off to learn their government worked to strengthen competition and the European cheese market – using their own tax dollars to boot.”