Revenooer Rants: Senators with time on their hands |

Revenooer Rants: Senators with time on their hands

Jeff Quinn

We guess our senators just don’t have enough to do. Here comes another one: Jeff Flake (R-AZ), with his hundred favorite consumers of tax dollars, as listed in his 2015 “Wastebook – The Farce Awakens.”

Just a few:

Jazz Playing Robots: Seems our Department of Defense thinks it’s important to teach robots how to play jazz music. So they’re dropping $2 million to hire a team of musicians and researchers to develop musical machines including robots capable of performing a trumpet solo and jamming with humans!

“How to Use a Lawyer” Guide: This surely useful tome will be prepared by the Vermont law school, with dough ($728,000) provided by the USDA, to achieve the surely lofty goal of “creating real-world tools for people and planet.”

Ultimate Tailgating: Your $5 million, courtesy of the USDA (again) allows the University of Nebraska to provide all of you fans with the “ultimate tailgating package,” equipped with such “essential tools” as “a koozie to keep your drinks cold, aprons to keep that sauce off your jeans, and a thermometer to be sure your beef is fully cooked – because no one wants to have to leave the tailgate because they ate undercooked beef.” These kits, you see, are designed to promote cookout safety.

Life-Size Pac-Man: There goes another $1.2 million, thanks to the National Science Foundation, for a life-size Pac-Man game, “the culmination of months of work … to promote student interest in science, technology, engineering and math through the use of exercise and games.”

California Zipline: The longest zipline in California opened last September thanks to a $1.8 million federal grant to the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians for the purpose of making improvements to the Pauma Valley recreational Area damaged by flooding in 2010.

Suspicious Bar Coasters: The Department of Homeland Security is distributing drink coasters at some bars in the Washington D.C. area, proclaiming its mantra, “If you see something, say something.” Curiously, however, nowhere on the coaster is a phone number for use in actually making a report! There goes another $2.5 million.

Solar Powered Beer: Kiss off another $210,000, including $40,000 from USDA to the Throwback Brewery to install a solar system. “Just as more and more people increasingly want to know where their food comes from, we believe that people will also want to know where their beer comes from.” And let’s not forget Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery of Athens, Ohio, to which USDA forked over some $44,000 to cover a portion of the cost of installing roof solar panels!

Guppy Fishing: Another $899,000 spent by the National Science Foundation to study “the social interactions of guppies.” As part of this surely important research, a student “may put two bold guppies in a tank with a pair of shy guppies to examine how they behave as they hang out together.” Wonderful.

Black and Blue Berries: Seems that blueberries can be bruised or even squashed during harvesting. And because damaged berries aren’t suitable for sale as berry produce, they end up being sold at a lower cost for use in “processed foods – like blueberry muffins.” Surely, therefore, the USDA needs to spend $2.37 million over four years to enable the University of Georgia to take a closer look at the bruising lives of blueberries with the goal of developing a gentler harvesting system.

And Hillary needs more tax revenue?

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER – This article contains general information about various tax matters. You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinnis a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He welcomes comments at

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