‘Festivus’ Airing Of Grievances By Sen. Rand Paul Spotlights Government Waste


U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has got a lot of problems with you people. And today, you’re gonna hear about them.

Paul posted his annual online salute to government waste as part of today’s Festivus celebration. He issued a 139-page “Festivus Report” that airs his grievances about $54 billion of federal spending he sees as “totally wasted money.”

Festivus, for the uninitated, was a noncommercial holiday made up by Frank Costanza (played by Jerry Stiller) on the classic Seinfeld sitcom. Each December 23, Costanza, rejecting the crass commercialism that has built up around the Christmas holiday, opted for a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum pole as a substitute Christmas totem, and the annual “Airing of Grievances,” followed by “Feats of Strength.”

The episode refers to the holiday as “a Festivus for the rest of us,” and quickly became part of the cultural zeitgeist.

Paul took up Costanza’s rejection of the status quo in his annual message deriding government waste.

The senator’s Top 10 grievances included:

  • About $1.5 million the National Science Foundation devoted to research that involved walking lizards on a treadmill;
  • Almost $20 million the Federal Aviation Administration spent to renovate an airport taxiway over on Nantucket Island that’s “most often used by private jets,” with some of the funds coming from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act.
  • Over $10 million the Federal Emergency Management Agency designated for buying test tubes for coronavirus testing, only to receive mini-soda bottles instead;
  • About $2 million the National Institutes of Health provided for research into whether hot tubbing is able to reduce stress.

“It is more important than ever for Congress to find its fiscal backbone. Our debt puts at risk the long-term solvency of major programs such as Social Security,” the Senator said. “And why? To pay for test tubes for COVID tests that turn out to be soda bottles? To see if hot tubbing a few times a week eases stress?”

Meanwhile, Seinfeld costars Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander posted their own Festivus messages. Seinfeld’s may have been a veiled jab at Rand Paul.


This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/12/festivus-airing-of-grievances-senator-rand-paul-government-waste-1234661124/