Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Master of puppets

Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain today released a report on questionable stimulus spending. My favorite is #14 -- $100,000 for puppet shows. I kid you not:
Each spring, Minnesota is home to a nationally known Mayday parade put on by In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOTB), which includes artists that advocate for socially progressive causes such as the elimination of fossil fuels and ―free market fundamentalism. The theatre derives its name from a quote popularized by Che Guevara, who in a thinly-veiled reference to the United States said, ―I envy you. You North Americans are very lucky. You are fighting the most important fight of all – you live in the heart of the beast. HOTB has received a grant for $25,000 to help preserve one job.

Elsewhere, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission used part of a $50,000 stimulus grant to host a series of Asian music, dance and puppet shows. The shows included a performance by the Dragon Art Studio, the only professional Beijing rod puppet theater in North America. Puppets also benefited from stimulus funds in Pennsylvania, where the Spiral Q Puppet Theater won a $25,000 grant to help produce socially-conscious puppet shows.
Your tax money at work. But the good news is that all of this spending is helping to create jobs. Because if taxpayers kept it, they'd probably bury it in the backyard.

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