Report: Pentagon Spent $100,000 to Debate ‘Did Jesus Die For Klingons Too?’

November 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm (Budgets, Government Waste, Jesus, Klingons, Pentagon, Spending, Tom Coburn)

And herein lies why you don’t pull 42-year-old men out of their mother’s basement and hand them a job in the research department at the Pentagon.

Via Politicker:

The federal government spends money to fix the country’s infrastructure, help senior citizens get affordable access to health care and beef up national security, but did you know that it also pays for stuff like workshops on Star Trek musings?

The Washington Times reports that Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has brought to light some of the Pentagon’s non-security focused spending, which–as a small-government Republican–he naturally wants cut. Buried among the list of things the Pentagon supposedly spent money on, including a new form of rolled-up beef jerky, is this little gem:

$100,000 for a 2011 workshop on interstellar space travel that included a session entitled “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” The session probed how Christian theology would apply in the event of the discovery of aliens.

We’re unsure how a workshop focusing on the hypothetical mixture of Star Trek and Christian doctrine cost $100,000, unless they actually hosted it in space, but perhaps that new rolled-up beef jerky is expensive to cater.

Check out the report at the Washington Times, it actually gets worse.  To give you an idea, the aforementioned beef jerky ran a tab of $1.5 million, with the funding coming from money that was designated for a weapons program.

How do you solve a problem like government waste and excess?  Perhaps the better question would be, what would Jesus do?

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GDP Plummets Below First Quarter Expectations

April 27, 2012 at 11:00 am (Automobile, Business, Economy, GDP, Jobs, President Obama, Spending)

Good thing we had that Summer of Recovery a couple of years ago.  Otherwise, who knows where we’d be now?

CNBC:

U.S. economic growth cooled in the first quarter as businesses cut back on investment and restocked shelves at a moderate pace, but stronger demand for automobiles softened the blow.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate,the Commerce Department said on Friday in its advance estimate, moderatingfrom the fourth quarter’s3 percent rate.

While that was below economists’ expectations for a 2.5 percent pace, a surge in consumer spending took some of the sting from the report.However, growth was still stronger than analysts’ predictions early in the quarter for an expansion below1.5percent.

Although the details were mixed, the GDP report offered a somewhat better picture of growth compared with the fourth quarter, when inventory building accounted for nearly two thirds of the economy’s growth. In the first quarter, demand from consumers took up the slack.

So, consumer spending seems to be the silver lining here.  But wait…

with the labor market showing early signs of fatigue after employment growth averaged 246,000 per month between December and February, consumer spending could soften in the second quarter.

Some gauges of regional factory activity eased as the second quarter started, and consumer confidence ebbed. In addition, first-time applications for unemployment benefits have spiked in recent weeks, although many economists pin the rise on seasonal quirks.

Additionally, the uptick in consumer spending is being attributed to automobile sales due to ‘a spurt of job growth’.

But how long can that last considering businesses, according to this report, are tightening their belts again?

… business spending fell for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2009, with investment in equipment and software risingat its slowestpace since the recession ended.

Business spending fell at a 2.1 percent pace after rising 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

Are you prepared to double down on the Obama economy?  Four more years of holding your breath every time an economic report is released?  Four more years of hearing the phrase ‘lower than expected’?

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Obama Budget Calls For $1 Billion to Fill Out Names and Numbers on Checks

February 14, 2012 at 10:31 am (Budget, Economy, Government Waste, President Obama, Social Security, Spending)

Picture Dr. Evil – One billion dollars. 

Seriously, the President’s budget proposal sets aside $1 billion to accurately fill out names and numbers on social security checks.

How’s that for government efficiency? 

Via Big Government:

According to President Obama’s budget proposal today, his budget would continue “investment in program integrity by providing $1 billion to ensure benefits are paid to the right person and in the right amount.” Yes, you read that correctly: we are supposed to spend one thousand million dollars in order to achieve what American Express does correctly every single day (or, come to mention it, what the Dewey Decimal System did for books 100 years ago)…

What’s worse?  It may actually be a legitimate cause.

Social Security fraud and waste, of course, is a very real problem. In 2008, the Social Security Administration was so negligent in keeping its information up-to-date that it paid up to $11 billion to people who weren’t disabled anymore (Social Security pays for many disabled folks, as well as the elderly). And there were still nearly 800,000 people who were trying to get access to the agency’s judges to secure the benefits they were allegedly owed. So the Obama Administration stands on solid ground when it suggests that for every dollar it spends on system maintenance, many dollars in waste and fraud may be saved.

Better plan – Send that money to my house, we’ll hire some of those CareerBuilder office workers, and everything will be taken care of.

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