Others believe the report is the real boondoggle
. "The NDRC budget assessment is wrong, and they are misleading people," says Bryan Wilkes, director of public affairs for the National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, D.C.
Recently, Grunwald reviewed what had happened to the example of Corps boondoggles
that he had highlighted in his story.
One of the biggest spending boondoggles
put forward by the Bush administration and passed by Congress was the bloated farm bill of 2002.
In the next election, the voters flop toward the Democrats, based on lofty promises such as "re-engineering" government to protect personal freedom, but get cheated by classic tax-and-spend Democratic politics, which produce pork-barrel crime bills and colossal boondoggles
such as Hillary Clinton's health-care plan - a plan that threatens your right to choose your own doctor and keep your medical records private.
But Clinton's $263 billion Defense Department budget is a mere $10 billion lower than that projected by the Bush Administration, and retains just about all of the silly or sinister weapons boondoggles
from the Reagan/Bush era.
Both Star Wars and the manned shuttle program are major military projects, lucrative corporate boondoggles
and serious efforts in public relations and self-promotion for NASA.
But a new study from Jerry Ellig, a former Federal Trade Commission official, suggests such projects probably will turn out to be boondoggles
In general, the feds have a poor track record in the domain of pure scientific research, wasting extravagant sums on boondoggles
like the Superconducting Supercollider and the Hubble Space telescope (which, it will be recalled, suffered from a flawed lens and required an expensive manned space mission, years after the original launch, to repair it).
Another example comes from CNN's David Ensor, who referred to the airport at Kandahar as "just an airstrip." In fact, it was built to serve as an international airport in a multimillion-dollar project that was considered one of the Agency for International Development's major boondoggles
of the 1960s.
The problem is not, as some Congressional conservatives and right-wing think-tanks have suggested, that the financial cost of coming to Somalia's rescue is too heavy a burden for the United States to assume; on the contrary, it's a pittance compared to the vast sums that have been squandered--and are still being squandered--on military and space boondoggles
. And even if an effective rescue attempt were to require real sacrifices of Americans, who would say No?
The IRS, we also learn, is one of Washington's great boondoggles
Can any American worthy of the name suggest that public-works boondoggles
in a foreign country are worth a red cent or a drop of American blood?