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Congress's Irritable Earmarks

by Susannah Kopecky, published

In the quietly passed omnibus spending bill (say goodbye to billions and billions of your tax dollars!), more than a half million was dedicated to... research equipment for Los Angeles's very own Institute for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research. and a number of other voices quickly pointed to some of the outrageous projects being funded in the newest spending bill. It's almost as though lawmakers in Washington D.C. have given up the facade of even wanting to restrain spending.

The Institude for IBS Research will be granted over $650,000 despite the fact that over 10% of California citizens are out of a full-time job. By approving this shameful allocation of limited resources, the Congress effectively gave away over $650,000 which could otherwise have been given to the taxpayers and/or or those in greatest needed.

The Mayo Clinic defines IBS as "a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon)" and usually causes "cramping, abdominal pain, bloating gas, diarrhea and constipation." The Mayo Clinic also notes that "espite these uncomfortable signs and symptoms, IBS doesn't cause permanent damage to your colon" and the majority of those diagnosed with IBS "find that symptoms improve as they learn to control their condition. Only a small number of people with irritable bowel syndrome have severe signs and symptoms." 

And yet, for some reason or other, Congress found it more important to give over $650,000 toward research and equipment for this non-deadly condition, rather than actually assist struggling taxpayers. Amazing!

FYI Congress, instead of giving over $650,000 to this third-tier cause, consider donating to the ever-growing California deficit or any number of real problems the state and its inhabitants face. The IBS Research institute will still be there in a year, but many residents may not have their homes then.

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