Political progressives “move forward” with two basic tenants: All government projects are worthy, and there should be an infinite amount of money available to fully fund all of them. The Wilmington StarNews Editorial Board gives us another example: “Saving Aquarius”—not the age of, but a federal underwater (“one of a kind”) research vessel. (link)
Of course, it happens to be operated by UNC Wilmington—the public institution upon which the Board lavishes frequent praise for its good works and high-minded spending. Editors rarely call for accountability or priorities. Anything Big Ed does is worth whatever it costs the public.
Editors bemoan that Washington funding for this watery vessel has dried up. A lid has been put on the pork barrel. Rep. Mike “Earmark” McIntyre no longer brings home platters to local troughs. Put on a low-pork diet, Mike now spends time promoting social services: cajoling constituents to live healthier lives and get work (if they can).
Editors assure us that funding Aquarius is not “a frivolous expenditure.” They say that annual spending of up to $3 million is “more than worth” the cost, and that the project has “immense value.” It’s unclear how they know this, but they say that “a very important mission” involves studying coral reefs—apparently, a subject foremost on the minds’ of taxpayers.
We are left to wonder why this project is more important than, say, using the money for research on cancer or multiple sclerosis.
Yes, progressives assume there’s always more money for their pet projects. It’s true. Government has the power to take wealth from productive workers and distribute it to favored projects—it’s done all the time.
In this case a Florida-based Aquarius Foundation will take on the funding. But, not to fear, its grants men will be looking for cash from an ocean full of public money.
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