Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Government accounting

IT MUST HAVE been a sight. The space shuttle Discovery, atop a modified Boeing 747, did a slow, low, graceful turn over the Mall in DC as it flew toward the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex near Dulles Airport today. Out of sight was the delivery fee: $11 million. Yeah, you read that right. $11 million -- courtesy of those income taxes we just mailed to Uncle Sam. But wait -- it gets worse. It seems that after NASA calculated the delivery fee, it found that the intragovernment transfer of funds "just got too complicated," according to the Washington Post. So NASA, in its infinite bureaucratic wisdom, just waived the charges. They waived $11 million dollars. Right. I wonder why NASA simply couldn't hire a U-Haul truck, have an astronaut back it up to a ramp at the U.S. Mint, and say, "Fill her up, buddy -- and we want new, unmarked bills, too." If we could send a man to the moon, why can't ... oh never mind. Watching how our government works (or doesn't) is almost as amazing as seeing a flyby of the Discovery.

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