After reading in Friday’s Roundup that our local school district plans to cut 10 more jobs, including those of some teachers, I then read in Sunday’s Arizona Republic that the federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse has granted $1.7 million to the University of Arizona to study the long-term effects of the drug Ecstasy.
Scottsdale blogger Jim McAlister writes: “It is already known that Ecstasy can cause kidney problems, blood-clotting, strokes and death. Now they want to know who would be likely to suffer those effects. Do we really need that information, especially for $1.7 million?”
I find it ironic and tragic that the $1.7 million to fund this frivolous Ecstasy study is about the same amount as our current school district’s shortfall. Meanwhile, 33 states have had to borrow a total of $39 billion from the federal government (Arizona borrowed $22 million) to pay for state unemployment claims.
The Congressional Budget Office (http://www.cbo.gov) reports: “The [federal] budget deficit surged to $1.4 trillion in 2009, the largest shortfall on record in dollar terms and nearly $1 trillion greater than the deficit recorded the previous year. As a percentage of GDP [Gross Domestic Product], the deficit more than tripled in 2009 to 9.9 percent, its highest level since the end of World War II. Revenues fell to their lowest level as a percentage of GDP since 1950 (14.8 percent), and outlays [including $1.7 million to study Ecstasy] climbed to their highest share of GDP since 1946 (24.7 percent).”
Meanwhile, at http://MyWastedTaxDollars .org/horrors/stimulus-map, you can learn about federal stimulus money spent on decorative sidewalks, planters and lights in Ann Arbor, Michigan ($983,952), to construct an eco-passage for turtles in Florida ($3.4 million), build a skateboard park in Rhode Island ($550,000), and various other projects.
As for the effects of Ecstasy: A Google search reveals it’s a dangerous, powerful stimulant that causes strong, hallucinogenic feelings of elation, excitation and empathy, and that recreational Ecstasy users may be at risk of developing permanent brain damage that may manifest itself in depression, anxiety, memory loss, and other neuropsychotic disorders.
Some cynics might call those the exact behavior symptoms exhibited by the kind of people who decide to spend $1.7 million on studying long-term effects of Ecstasy, while school, fire and police personnel are losing their jobs all over America.