The Houston Chronicle reported over the weekend that medical professionals are skeptical that the legislature’s new $3 billion “cancer fund” will accomplish much more than spend $3 billion of the taxpayers’ money.

But, don’t worry, it was created with the best of intentions… State Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), summed it up nicely in her quote to the Chronicle that “she’d ‘like to sit back and tell my grandchildren I had something to do with the cure.’ “

Oh, so that justifies a $3 billion hit on the taxpayers… So lawmakers who don’t actually produce anything can take credit for possibly accomplishing something worthwhile. That’s a life well-spent.

Say what you will about this particular boondoggle, er, taxpayer-funded scam, er, new government program… At least it offers a little insight into the way lawmakers think.

Only a politician could be so brazen as to say that, by sitting in Austin and taxing hard-working people to create what experts say will be a generally-ineffective program, somehow makes her worthy of receiving a Nobel Prize for Medicine.

It’s really hard to be against such programs; “What, you want people to die from cancer?” is a typical response. But one probably should at least look at the effectiveness of the dollars being spent on this as opposed to doing something else (like let you keep your money to take care of yourself and your family, giving it to the charity of your choice, or investing in a business venture).

State Sen. John Carona is quoted as having “said it would ‘make me proud if we were to establish the first colony on the moon, but I’m not sure that’s the duty of Texans today with Texas taxpayer money.’ ”

Billions of federal tax dollars, and untold billions of private research investment, are spent annually on cancer research. This new program would spend $300 million a year for ten years. A drop in the bucket.

But, hey, it makes Senfronia feel good. And isn’t that worth it to you?

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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