Economy

NIH is Spending $3.2 Million to Study Drunken Monkeys

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Uncle Sam apparently thinks drunken monkeys are an important enough issue to spend your tax money on.

According to The Washington Times, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is spending $3.2 million to get monkeys drunk. It wants to determine the long-term effect it has on their body tissue.

And that’s not all. The NIH has also spent large sums on other alcohol-related research.

As noted in the report, it has given the University of Missouri more than $69,000 to study whether text messaging college students prior to tailgates will motivate them to consume less alcohol.

And it has awarded funds to research binge-drinking mice, drunken gamblers and pilots seeking the sensation of flying while intoxicated. The pilot study was on a simulator.

“The National Institutes of Health has an outrageously large budget and gives away money with no real consideration of whether the projects being funded are of any value to taxpayers,” David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, told The Washington Times.

Meanwhile, this isn’t the only notable use of taxpayer dollars these days. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), the chairman of the Senate committee that has jurisdiction over transportation issues, travels to his home state almost exclusively via private aircraft. Taxpayers pay $4,400 for a trip that would cost as little as $206 on a commercial plane. Over the past three years, taxpayers have footed a $141,408 bill for 32 trips.

Photo credit: Flickr/jonrawlinson