Taxpayers paid $825,000 for comic book superheroes documentary

dc-comic-taxpayersArizona Congressman Matt Salmon has introduced a series of bills designed to “cut wasteful and duplicative federal spending.” Salmon’s latest bill; the 12th, was introduced last week as part of the Shrinking Our Spending Initiative, or SOS Initiative, and aims to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“After releasing my eleventh SOS bill last week, I took a closer look at where the NEH’s funding is spent and was shocked at the enormous waste this unaccountable non-profit facilitates with our tax dollars,” said Salmon in a statement released after proposing the bill. “Just one of these programs is outrageous enough, but to think that we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars supporting projects most Americans would find frivolous at best is offensive.

“To waste taxpayer funds creating undergraduate courses to distract from the actual accumulation of knowledge by analyzing ‘the good life’ seems to run contrary to the NEH’s mission and demonstrates exactly why such excesses should be eliminated. The NEH is free to pursue private funding for any programs it wishes. In light of our astronomical debt, burdening the U.S. with these thoughtless projects is insulting.”

According to Salmon’s office, the National Endowment for the Humanities was founded by the “National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965,” and requested over $154 million in taxpayer funds in fiscal year 2013. The wasteful projects funded by NEH include:

1.Comic Book Superheroes Documentary ($825,000) – This documentary superheroes project has received three federal grants over the past three years.

2.Puppets Take Long Island ($150,000) – While the Muppets may have taken Manhattan, the federal government spent $150,000 to support Puppets Take Long Island, an eight-week long festival in Sag Harbor, New York.

3.What is a Monster? ($24,999) – The development of an upper-level undergraduate seminar on the question, “What is a monster? — from Antaeus to Zombies.”

4.What is the Meaning of Life? ($24,953) – A website devoted to an interdisciplinary course which explores the question “What is the Meaning of Life?”

5.What is Belief? ($24,562) – The development of a lower-division undergraduate course to investigate multiple perspectives on the question, “What is belief?”

6.What is the Good Life and How Do I Live It? ($25,000) – The development of a seminar by four faculty members on the question, “What is the good life and how do I live it?”

“Our nation is drowning in debt – $17.5 trillion dollars of it…Yet, our nation’s leaders continue to approve wasteful spending without a blink, and continue to spend your tax dollars in the most imprudent ways. Enough is enough. We must have the courage to start cutting spending somewhere…,” said Salmon. Salmon’s goal is to find at least 1.5 billion dollars in wasteful spending that can be eliminated.

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