And the Golden Turkey goes…

Remember the good old days when the most obvious difference between conservatives and liberals was that conservatives objected to wasteful government spending? We now live in a world where extravagance is one of the best qualities of liberals.

Still, it should make us angry. More than ever, government at all levels is looking more closely at taxpayers’ money, not just as their money, but primarily as a means of buying votes. Moreover, states cannot print money, so if we want reasonable state taxes, a necessary condition is to limit spending.

That’s why American Experiment inaugurated the Golden Turkey Award a few years ago. Following in the footsteps of William Proxmire’s Golden Fleece, it exposes the absurd waste of Minnesota government spending. Each year, readers and our staff nominate four candidates for the Award. The winner is determined by voting via email and social media.

This year we had some remarkable candidates: our state government paid for children to play outdoors; spent tens of thousands of dollars promoting folk remedies for covid like burning sage and eating sauerkraut; and paid stipends of $6,000 to random citizens—for example, a stripper who was paid to keep stripping.

But if you’ve been following the Feeding Our Future scandal, you can’t help but be surprised by the Minnesota Department of Education’s selection of this year’s Golden Turkey. I presented the award to the Department of Education at their headquarters on a cold, windy afternoon. Here’s a video of what I hope will be an entertaining presentation:

One more thing: we presented the prize at 3:30 in the afternoon. It says on the front of the building that it’s open every day from noon to 4:30, but the place was empty when we were there. The building of the education department was dark, there was not a single car except us in the large parking lot. Does anyone work in the education department? Frankly, this could be an improvement. But at least it suggests another area where the state of Minnesota could save money: the Department of Education budget.