|Mrs. Dr. J. if our finances were like DC.|
Anything that involves dealing with the Federal Government sadly involves deceit on the front end or the back end or somewhere in the middle.
Let’s start with science.
Back in the day when Dr. J. was pipetting, his boss would sometimes say, ‘we’re getting to the end of the year on grant X, lets spend that money, rather than let it go to waste’ rather than spend the money on the grant that was at the beginning of the fiscal year. One can argue that that is dishonest, and technically it is, but the lab is in the business of science and if Grant A is all about a transgenic mouse with receptor X knocked out, and Grant B is a human gene regulation grant on the same receptor, thematically the lab is studying receptor X and discoveries are synergistic and drive an investigator into new directions that mean new grants in addition to renewals of the old grants. The taxpayers, the NIH and the institution should all be happy because this means money is being well spent.
Since those halcyon days, the NIH has evolved into a compliance nightmare where Grant A dollars better be spent on project A and Grant B dollars better be spent on project B and never the twain shall meet.
Dr. J.’s scientist friends at NAIMTC, who have more than one Federal research grand, must, when ordering pipet tips, pay the percentage from each grant that they use on each grant. But, they can’t say the same thing each time (Grant A 67%, Grant B 33%, or Grant A 50% Grant B 50%) because round numbers will get audited. So investigators are encouraged month to month to approximate with a degree of precision that is inaccurate (e.g. January 51/49, February 47/53, March (58/42), etc…when the reality is that 50/50, 67/33, 75/25 are probably the best that anyone could realistically guestimate.
So, investigators are lying in order to tell the truth…
Paul Krugman does the opposite in economic land when he discusses a CBO survey demonstrating that the American peasantry ignorantly think that the deficit is growing (ha ha ha those ignorant peasants!).
The little people, as he sees them from his Ivory Tower are hard working folk struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table all the while trying to be good parents, spouses and neighbors during this stagnant Obama Economy.
What they do know is that Washington continues to spend more than it takes in and in their own risible simpleton sort of way the total bill is getting bigger and BIGGER and BIGGER and that it’s a total crock of shit because they’d be out of on the corner wearing a barrel and holding a tin cup if they acted that way.
It is sheer asshattery that Paul Krugman and the nattering nabobs in the mainstream media, the faculty lounge and DC wonk factories laugh at the folks (and their children) who are footing the bill because they don’t know the difference between the deficit and the debt.
What we need in DC are the folks who balance their budget at the kitchen table month to month and not these buffoons who walk around saying, ‘Well, it’s not quite the same thing.’
Actually yes it is, and our fiscal chickens will be coming home to roost!