Remember the good old days, when the most obvious difference between conservatives and liberals was that conservatives objected to wasteful government spending? Now we live in a world where wastefulness is one of liberals’ better qualities.
Still, it should make us angry. More than ever, government at all levels is cavalier with taxpayers’ money, viewing it not only as their own, but primarily as a means of buying votes. Moreover, states can’t print money, so if we want reasonable state taxes, a necessary condition is spending restraint.
This is why, several years ago, American Experiment inaugurated the Golden Turkey Award. Following in the footsteps of William Proxmire’s Golden Fleece, it exposes absurd waste in Minnesota’s government spending. Each year, readers and our own staff nominate four contenders for the Prize. The winner is determined by a vote driven by email and social media.
This year we had some remarkable nominees: our state government paid children to play outdoors; it spent tens of thousands of dollars promoting folk remedies for covid like burning sage and eating sauerkraut; and it paid random citizens stipends of $6,000–e.g. a stripper who was paid to continue stripping.
But if you have been following the Feeding Our Future scandal, it can come as no surprise that the Minnesota Department of Education was voted this year’s Golden Turkey. I presented the award to the Department of Education at their headquarters on a cold, windy afternoon. Here is the video of the presentation, which I hope you will find amusing:
One more thing: we presented the award at 3:30 in the afternoon. It says on the front of the building that it is open until 4:30 every weekday afternoon, but when we were there, the place was deserted. The Department of Education building was dark, and there was not a single car in the vast parking lot, other than ours. Is no one working at the Department of Education? Frankly, that might be an improvement. But at the very least, it suggests another area where the State of Minnesota could save money: the Department of Education’s budget.