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$1 Million on Syrian Hookah Use Amid Depression-Era Bailout?

Hookah pipes and the housing crisis? Oh yep, just stuff Congress is spending money on. I'm going to wager you probably don't remember the Great Depression — but Congress gave us a little romp through nostalgia this weekend by passing the biggest rescue package since FDR sat in the Oval Office. We might not be on the same page if we're saying "recession" but no matter. We're funding it like it's the big D.

The bailout gives the treasury big authority to prop up the mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by raising the ceiling on the national debt to $800 billion. The hope is by raising the country's credit limit, another wave of foreclosures can be stopped. More than 740,000 homes fell into foreclosure in the second quarter of this year.

Think that's depressing? To get a load of the other pipe Congress is smoking,


In addition to housing bailouts, the US has spent $1 million researching Syrians addicted to hookahs. Yup. Hookahs (aka, hubbly-bubbly — I can't make this up.) Taxpayers are funding research at the Syrian Center for Tobacco Study on whether smoking through a water pipe is less harmful than regular smoking. Well, I'm dying to know the answer to that, aren't you? Hold on while I get out my checkbook.

A spokesman for Citizens Against Government Waste says while research is useful, it's not something that taxpayers should be funding. "Why is the federal taxpayer always the one who has to pay for this? We question whether this is a national priority to figure out the problems of other countries. Let’s figure out our problems and solve those.” The NIH Fogarty Center originating the research stands to get $66 million next year.

Is raising the national debt ceiling the answer? Should more be trimmed from areas like hookah research before the US goes further in the hole?


Join The Conversation
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
So glad to see that my tax dollars are going to something useful.... :oy:
stephley stephley 8 years
War and tax cuts gave the deficit a serious leg up.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
Um ... I thought it was already proven that hookah smoking has 1/40th of the effect of a cigarette ... why the hell is the US funding this research?????
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"Seriously, Sen. Barry Obama will raise taxes on us all. " Actually, he will lower taxes for the lower and middle classes.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
It's not just the tax cuts and the war that created the deficit.
stephley stephley 8 years
Sorry, Coosa, but even your fellow McCain voters admitted today in an earlier post that it was Bush and Congress together who created the debt, urged on by voters who thought the wealth would trickle down to them. You got your tax cuts and your war. Now we've all got to pay for them.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 8 years
The ONLY way out of this mess is to vote McCain '08 and let him Line Item Veto all the stupid stuff the narcissistic Congress "persons" add to bills so that they can pay off their cronies and families and lobbyist buddies. Seriously, Sen. Barry Obama will raise taxes on us all. Sen. John McCain says that if ALL Pork is cut out of the bills, the USofA has enough money to pay our bills and our debts. But you Barry Obama lovers, you don't want to hear how THIS Congress, lead by tax and spenders Nanci Pelosi and Harry Reid (who has a street, bridge and building named for him in every town in West Virginia) has created the largest debt the USofA has ever had. And it will be YOUR children and grandchildren who will be trying to pay it off . . . and learn Spanish, Chinese and Arabic because our Country has been over-run by illegal aliens, bought by China, and Islam is forced down our throats . . . because YOU voted for the appeaser Caliph Barry Obama.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
They seem to be paying for everything else, so why not?
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
dont listen to the economists... we ARE in a recession. we have been for a while. depression? maybe not... i mean, personally, yes, i'm in a depression, and have been for years. i wonder if congress will also pay for my therapist bills?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I'll grant your study, and I'll volunteer to participate. I expect all my healthcare and ancelliary expenses to be taken care of...
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Yes Dave. And I would like only 7-8 million for my, "Is staring at the sun bad?" study. Of course, I will need volunteers for field testing.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Also, did everyone check out the picture I embedded on the NASA story?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
While they are at it, I'd like them to fund a study I'm doing. I want to see what the effects of a lifetime of doing nothing would have on the human body. I would only need 8 or 9 million.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Thanks Shopaholic! I think they are trying to see if smoking through a hookah is less harmful than smoking a cig. All smoking is bad for you, they are just trying to see which is the least bad!
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
I agree Great Sommelier! BTW, I have done hookah MANY times with my friends and I don't see anything harmful about it. At least I hope not. :p
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
I'm telling you, we need to CLEAN HOUSE!! These politicians have no clue what the everyday American needs or wants.
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