Rand Paul Releases His Yearly Festivus Report, and the Grievances Are Aplenty

Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Rand Paul continues to be one of the few sane voices left in the US Senate. Unlike 18 of his GOP colleagues, he lobbied and voted against the just-passed omnibus bill, complete with its expenditures for LGBT “pride centers” and another $45 billion to Ukraine. The overall price tag came in at a whopping $1.7 trillion, with the national debt heading over $31 trillion.


With that setting the stage, it’s only fitting that Paul would release his annual Festivus report a day later, and boy, are the grievances aplenty.

For example, did you know that the federal government spent $140 million in COVID relief funds to build a spa facility? Or that the NIH spent $519,828 using mice to study racial aggression? Or that $175 million was spent to upgrade and expand the DC street car system (when I was there, almost no one used it).

Those things are just a drop in the bucket, of course.

Naturally, the biggest expenditure was the $475 billion the government spent on servicing its debt, which just continues to spiral out of control. The United States also sent $210 million to Jordan for education projects, and for some reason, $50 million was used to boost Tunisia’s travel sector during COVID. Why is that in US interests? That’s a good question and one that will never be sufficiently answered.

The US government is a joke. It’s run by a bunch of self-aggrandizing politicians who treat themselves as heroes for spending other peoples’ money. They then vote themselves raises, completely insulated from the consequences of the policies they push. I’d say their malfeasance is going to crush future generations, but given the continuing inflation crisis, these spending binges are crushing the current ones.


And what did Republicans do upon finally halfway winning an election and retaking the House of Representatives, partly by promising to rein in this insanity? Mitch McConnell and company join with the Democrats to pass a $1.7 trillion omnibus that gives Joe Biden everything he wants for the next ten months, neutering the ability of the new GOP congress to govern. Keep in mind that Paul’s report, as bad as it already is, does not include that.

It doesn’t have to be this way, but it is this way because Washington is a bubble that absorbs most who go there. Paul is one of the few who hasn’t succumbed to its siren song. For that, he deserves a lot of credit, and though his Festivus report will fall on deaf ears in congress, he’s still doing good work in putting this stuff out there.

The broader Republican Party doesn’t deserve to win elections. Every two years, they make false promises, insisting that if you just give them power, they’ll use it to push the priorities of their voters. That never happens, though. Instead, it’s business as usual, with massive omnibus bills, gun control bills, and infrastructure bills, among other betrayals. What’s the point of winning if you lose anyway? What’s the point of voting for people who would just as well spit in your face and tell you it’s raining?


No one should give a dime to the Republican Party at this point. Give to individual candidates who have shown that they’ll actually do what they say they’ll do. Other than that, let it burn.


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