A crack in a roof and a leaky government in which your money is used in the latter case to plug holes – holes mostly imagined, many holes government-created – are similar in both the damage done and the costliness of repairs and that only if you can find, after repeated and frustrated attempts, the infernal source.
Ironically, this past bleak and dreary Wednesday in which “record rainfall hit the South Sound” was the same day Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) published his “2014 Wastebook – What Washington Doesn’t Want You To Read.”
The forecast – of both local weather and woeful waste in the other Washington – shows no sign in letting up anytime soon.
Of all days to crawl about among the rafters, insulation and long-ago stored treasures in the attic being careful not to plunge through the sheetrock to the living room below while searching for the hole/s in our roof, I chose the day of record rainfall. The good news, given the abundance of wetness, I found what I was looking for.
So too did Coburn.
“Only someone with too much of someone else’s money and not enough accountability for how it was being spent could come up [with] some of the zany projects the government paid for this year,” Coburn said upon releasing his fifth annual Wastebook.
From Swedish massages for rabbits to watching grass grow, Coburn lists 100 projects pouring billions of dollars through gaping holes but with little in the way of fixes or repairs anticipated any time soon.
Project number eight could explain why.
A Study of Gambling Monkeys ($171K) discovered that no matter how many times our hairy-handed non-human primate predecessors were given to overcome their false belief in a hot-hand they never did.
One more game and their winning streak would return. Yet after an average of 1,244 trials over weeks of play, the big payoff never materialized. And still they played on.
Which explains why state lottery commissions monkey around with our primate predisposition to payout what often the poor among us don’t have; to realize the payoff that, chances are, won’t come; to gamble money that would fix the holes in the shelter our government ostensibly would provide, that doesn’t and never will.
So why do we play this game?
Monkey see, monkey do.