President Obama’s remarks at a White House press conference Wednesday were riddled with false choices and phony equivalence. These are the same scare tactics Democrats have been using all year in response to every legitimate effort to reign in federal spending. For example: “We can’t get to the $4 trillion in savings that we need by just cutting the 12 percent of the budget that pays for things like medical research and education funding and food inspectors and the National Weather Service.”
Ah yes, the National Weather Service, an agency that consumes roughly $1 billion in taxpayer funds every year. Obviously, every penny of that goes toward essential programs, right? Here’s a few examples of the kinds of programs you have been paying for at the NWS:
- A $220,000 grant to the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region to “educate the Arab region on climate change.”
- A $50,000 grant to the Ocean Conservancy for the purpose of “enhancing the capacity to inform effective management decisions” at the East End Marine Park in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
- A $15,000 grant to the Oregon TsuTube channel to create tsunamai awareness clips on YouTube.
- A $193,000 grant to the International Environmental Data Rescue Organization for “hydrometeorological services” in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, Dominican Republic, Chile, and Uruguay.
- A $300 annual gym membership reimbursement program for all NWS employees, a benefit that few private sector workers enjoy, at a total cost of up to $1.3 million in taxpayer dollars per year.
In addition, the Obama administration has abandoned its effort to cuts costs and streamline the NWS by closing and consolidating facilities, an action hailed as a victory by the union representing NWS workers.
So just be thankful that the president is looking out for your interests.