Op-Ed: House mites versus White House plight

Posted Mar 9, 2013 by Larry Clifton
President Barack Obama recently allowed public tours of the White House to be cancelled as part of the cuts deemed necessary by sequester legislation that he signed.
North American House Dust Mite  a major creator of allergens.
North American House Dust Mite, a major creator of allergens.
Meanwhile, a research team led by two biologists from University of Michigan, a federally-funded research house with an office in Washington D.C., has completed a study on House Dust Mites showing that the tiny critters are capable of going back to the way they were living before evolving new traits, a sort of reverse evolution.
At the same time, the entire 537 elected federal representatives including Congress and the White House, if you count trailer Joe Biden, can’t come up with a plan to cut government waste without banning public tours of the White House.
While I didn’t major in micro-economics, become a Rhodes Scholar or manage a federal budget, neither has the president, and the Senate doesn’t even produce budgets anymore - so I am fully qualified to make a few suggestions as a favor to the president.
Cut a few of your overly generous ineffective stimulus grants to universities and you can pay for public White House tours for ten years, maybe a century.
I’m sure a handful of Americans will get excited about learning that house mites may be able to regress into an even more useless state of being, but most of us see such research as junk science. Such wasteful projects are a way of keeping a few hand-picked pseudo-intellectual career students busy while lining the pockets of their tenured professors who haven’t actually taught a class since 1983.
Look, I don’t mean to pick on the University of Michigan’s house mite research. I’m sure that their revolutionary discovery of the reverse-evolutionary potential of such obnoxious bed bugs is fascinating stuff, to somebody. However what most people want to discover is a non-toxic method of exterminating house mites. That’s all; no evolution, no reverse evolution – exterminate them, they are just pests.
If Barack Obama needs to know where to cut government spending before banning the public from visiting their White House, here are some more typical projects he spent taxpayer’s dollars on last year.
• Moroccan pottery classes (part of a $27 million grant from U.S. Agency for International Development)
• Efforts to promote caviar consumption and production ($300,000)
• Robotic squirrel named “RoboSquirrel” (part of a $325,000 grant from the National Science Foundation)
• Promotion of specialty shampoo and other beauty products for cats and dogs ($505,000)
• Corporate welfare for the world’s largest snack food producer, PepsiCo Inc. ($1.3 million)
• Government-funded study on how golfers might benefit from using their imagination, envisioning the hole is bigger than it actually is ($350,000)
• “Prom Week,” a video game that allows taxpayers to relive prom night ($516,000)
• Oklahoma’s layover boondoggle, a scarcely used airport in Oklahoma receiving nearly half-a-million in taxpayer dollars only to transfer funds elsewhere in the state ($450,000)
• The 2012 Alabama Watermelon Queen tour paid for in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “to promote the consumption of Alabama’s watermelon through appearances of the Alabama Watermelon Queen at various events and locations” ($25,000)
I don’t know how much it costs to conduct White House tours that are led by volunteers, but I’m sure Mr. Obama could find enough wasted dollars in projects like these to re-open the White House for public tours even if it means house mites' devolution goes unnoticed.