tv U.S. Senate Sen. Paul on Spending Projects in Science Technology Bill CSPAN May 26, 2021 5:19am-5:32am EDT
vote begins. the presiding officer: also without objection. mr. paul: about 50 years ago william proxmire rows in this esteemed body and told us about government waste. he called it the golden fleece award. they were studying things like dating and love and what makes love and we had these great scientific studies about love. these are william proxmire's words from the early 1970's. he was a conservative democrat. he says i object to this study on love because no one, even the national science foundation, can argue that falling in love sf a science -- in love is a science. not only because i'm sure that even if they spend $84 million or $84 billion, they would not
get an answer that anyone would believe. i'm also against this study on love because i don't want the answer. i believe that 200 million other americans want to leave some things in life a mystery. and right on top of the things that we don't need to know is why a man falls in love with a woman or vice versa. stirring words, the golden fleece award. i remember as a cird everybody -- kid everybody talked about it. it was in the newspapers. so what have we done to curb the wasteful appetite, the abusive government that happens at the national science foundation since 1972? not a damn thing. here's one of my other favorites from williams proxmire's days. the f.a.a. was named for spending $57,000 on a study of the physical measurements of 432 airline stewardasss. this included knee to knee
sitting and length of the buttocks. $57,000, your money being put to good use. fast forward and we spend about $8 billion a year with the national science foundation. is it getting any better? are they doing a better job at overseeing their money? i don't know. this bill is going to increase their funding by 68%. there's $29 billion in this bill for the national science foundation. so don't you think the american people deserve to know where their money is being spent? this was from their sister agency, the n.i.h. but we can't get started without talking about it. this is over $800,000 to study whether or not japanese quail are more sexually promiscuous on cocaine. i'm not making this up. $800,000 of taxpayer money to study whether japanese quail are more sexually promiscuous on
cocaine. you think we could have just polled the audience. you think we could have just said, what do you think? because that's sort of the answer. the answer is yes. and yet your government spent 800 grand on that. when we pointed it out five years ago, did they do anything to reform it? no, they're here today to give the agencies that are doing this research more money. another one that i think is quite revealing is this study is about panamanian male frog calls. half a million dollars and they wanted to know whether or not the male mating call is different in the country than it is in the city. now, coming from a rural state like kentucky, i can tell you the male mating call is different in the country than it is in the city. but nobody in kentucky wants a half a million dollars spent on a panamanian frog's male mating
call. this is not a good use of money. so if someone told you your government was spending this money, would you give them more? would you give the agency more if they were doing this or less? i think less. in looking at the national science foundation spending, we also found that they spent $3,000 studying ugandan gambling habits. really? we're studying why people gamble in uganda, why there's a black market in uganda. you know what? i think we know the reason. when government oppresses business and regulates business to death, they go to the black market. so if you make something illegal, you often get more of it. but we spent $30,000 traveling over to uganda to study their gambling habits. utter waste of money. we should not reward these people with more money. we spent about a half a million on a video game. this is an app for your phone.
i know we all need things to do when we should be working or at school. this is an app for schoolchildren to teach them alarmism over climate change. so you can click on the app and it will scare you to death that california is going to be under water in a hundred years none of which is true, all of which is alarmism and ha of a million dollars spent by the government to alarm our schoolchildren is not a good idea. this next study points out a problem with funding in general in our government. you give funds for something that extensively might be a good cause. so a couple of years ago they gave money for autism. $700,000 for autism. you think, autism, you know, even myself as conservative as i am, i could probably say that's something we ought to study, autism. well, they subcontracted 700 grand of it to a bunch of egg head researchers to watch neil armstrong's statement on the moon.
you remember the black and white photo? he's on the moon and he says one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind or did he really say one small step for a man. so these researchers took $700,000 to listen to that crackly old cassette recording and find out did he say man or did he say a man. so we study the preposition a and we spent 700 grand listening to the tape over and over and over again. you know what they determined? they just can't decide. they're unsure but they did recommend more money to study the problem further. this is insulting to the american taxpayer. we should not be giving these people more money. we should be giving them dramatically less money. but it also points out one of the reforms that i have proposed for this agency. one of the problems of the national science foundation is if i want to do research on japanese quail snorting cocaine,
guess what? i can ask for the same people studying snorting cocaine in animals, i can ask them to be on my pier committee. i can -- peer committee. if i want to study animal snorting cocaine, i can pick other researchers studying snorting cocaine. they say yes. if they say yes the science gets on the next peer commission and he says or she says yes, for their snorting cocaine research. this is crazy. we should not let these so-called scientists pick who is on their committee. not only that, think we ought to have a taxpayer advocate. could we not have just someone with a good dose of common sense that says we shouldn't take autism money, steal it and spend it on a bunch of idiots listening to what neil armstrong said when we landed on the moon. so that is part of the reform we should have. one of my other all time favorites from the national science foundation, this kind of goes back to william proxmire and love and happiness.
they wanted to know if you take a selfie of yourself while smiling and you look at it later in the day, will that make you happy. really? that's a half a million dollars. i don't think we need a scientist to say that's b.s. and that government has got no business doing this kind of research. i don't even know how you can call this research with a straight face but it goes on year on, year on, year on. and you think we've been complaining about this since 1972. you think we would have less of it. we're giving them more money. so we're now increasing their budget by 68% despite this kind of research. the last one i have is this. we spent $1.3 million on insect ranching. this is money that was sent to study whether or not we could put insects into animal feed. we spent another $3 million, though, wanting to know if humans would eat ants to prevent climate change.
what will you do, america, to combat climate change? will you eat ants to combat climate change? that was a study. this is not science. this is ridiculous in nature. i have one more example. we spent $1.5 million studying lizards on a treadmill. so i know you've all been curious. when lizards walk and they kind of waddle and they have a funny walk, why do they walk that way? what is going on in their knee joints? what do their hip joints look like when they waddle across the lawn. everybody wants to know that but are you willing to spend a half million of your taxpayer dollars to take live, real time x-rays of a lizard walking on a treadmill? i tend to think, you know, maybe alzheimer's research, maybe cancer research, maybe heart research, but spending good, hard cash on x-rays of a lizard on a treadmill do not strike me as the most pressing concerns of government.
so, mr. president, i would argue that instead of increasing their money, we should be decreasing their money. we also need to have oversight on where our money is being spent. there's a great deal of circumstantial evidence now that n.i.h. money went to the wuhan virology institute. there's a great deal of evidence at least suggesting that the pandemic may have started there. we don't know for certain. i'm not saying that it did. but there is evidence now that suggests that it might have. number one, there is no animal host for covid-19. we have not found of the thousands of animals we tested in the wet market, none of them had covid-19. when you take covid-19 and you try to infect bats which is where most coronavirus come from, what do you discover? you discover covid-19 is actually not very well infected in bats. the bats don't catch it very
easily. it seems that covid-19 is most adaptive for humans. but if it came from animals shouldn't there be an animal host that is readily infected by this. three individuals at the wuhan institute got sick in november of last year, sick enough to be in the hospital from a virus that was previously undisclosed. they worked in the wuhan institute. we're told this came from the wet market lab from exotic animals, but not one animal tested positive for the virus. we have an amendment we hope will be adopted by this body that says gain of function research as defined by the n.i.h. in 2014 will not be permitted in china. we will not fund it with american dollars. but it's like so much waste in government, i think there's no reason to be sending any money to china for research.
there's a -- they are a rich country, we're worried about them outcompeting us, stealing intellectual property and sending them money to do research. why don't they spend their own money? are they open enough to tell us what is going on in the lab to give them money. they have not shown us this and we are finding out people were sick in the lab in november. no more money should flow to china for research on gain of function which means increasing the virrians of covid virus to humans. so i urge this body to adopt my amendment which says, from here on out, china doesn't get any money to create superviruss in a lab and we should continue to investigate this because three million people have died worldwide. we've disrupted the entire world's economy over a virus if it came from a lab, we need know it and it needs to be fully