A waste of ink, fellas. But a noble thought. Here's reality:
Don't give this bacon to Virginia Tech
In our more optimistic moments, we like to hope federal officials objectively decide how to get the most bang for taxpayers' bucks, that they award contracts and grants based on who can best build a bridge, conduct some research or supply troops overseas.
Such flights of fancy soon pass as we remember that senators and representatives prefer earmarks and pork.
We could rail, yet again, against a dysfunctional system designed more to win elections than responsibly manage the nation's finances, but what's the point?
No, today we simply urge Virginia's congressional delegation to try holding the line just once, on a single earmark.
Virginia Tech seeks a $1 million handout for research into ways to prevent violence in public places such as college campuses, shopping malls and stadiums. The school would collaborate with Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia on the research. Gov. Tim Kaine's office backs the request.
[M]aybe Tech's researchers are the most qualified in the nation. Maybe having had a shooting on campus gives them special insights shared by few institutions.
Then again, maybe not. That's why officials usually award these sorts of research grants through a competitive application process.
Tech could make its strongest case for the money; other research institutions could make theirs. (link)
Rick Boucher (and Bob Goodlatte) will proudly sign over the money to VT in the form of an earmark, Boucher will brag about it, nothing will come of the expenditure, the people of Southwest Virginia will continue to struggle under the burden of high taxes, and Virginia Tech will continue to amass wealth. Half a billion dollars and growing in endowments alone.
Oh, and the congresspersons involved will get reelected.
Anyone want to bet?
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* "Research into ways to prevent violence in public places." For the love of God.
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** Here's what's really going on. The boneheads who run Virginia Tech dreamt up that silly Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention in the aftermath of the Seung hui-cho massacre there and now need to justify its existence. Thus the above.