My Government’s Valuation of Me in a Pandemic

This from Forbes.com…

Associated Press
Lawmakers OK $870M for Bird Flu Vaccine
Associated Press 03.22.07, 12:03 PM ET

The Department of Health and Human Services would get $870 million this year to fund vaccine development and prepare for a bird flu epidemic under a bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee.

That’s an incredible $2.90 per person in the US, in toto, and don’t ya know, there is always huge overhead, so that stunningly generous two dollars and ninety cents per person in reality is going to be a whole lot less.

The committee, chaired by David Obey, D-Wis., approved the bird flu funds by a 36-28 vote late last week as part of a supplemental fiscal 2007 spending bill for the Defense Department and other agencies.

So, let’s see… added to the 2006 Budgeted amount of around one billion dollars we arrive at somewhere around $6.25 per person to fund Pandemic Influenza Mitigation and Research.

In 2006, the government awarded more than $1 billion to drug companies to research and develop bird flu vaccines. In January this year, HHS awarded $132.5 million in bird flu program contracts to British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (nyse: GSKnews - people ) PLC, Novartis (nyse: NVSnews - people ) AG and Iomai Corp. (nasdaq: IOMInews - people )

Vote for the spending bill have yet to be scheduled. The bill must be approved by the full House and then the Senate before becoming law.

In fairness, I always get cranky during the time I fortify myself to pay Uncle Sam our short-fall of our annual tribute (Federal Taxes).  Added to that crankiness, I am watching gas prices rise on an almost daily basis and every time I look at the price per gallon I think about the taxes that I pay as part of that per gallon price.  The Federal portion is 18.4 cents per gallon…in case you didn’t know, states vary, so you will have to look up your own if you are interested.

Between FIT, FICA and MC Uncle Sam steals a usurious amount of my household’s gross income.  As Dual Income Empty Nesters we belong to that much reviled group of people known as “The Evil Rich”, although decidedly middle-class in reality… ’cause Uncle Sam takes too much of that Dual Income.

Of our direct transfer payments we are going to receive the benefit of the $6.25 in PanFlu Mitigation funding. Put another way, that’s 0.00031 of our direct transfer payments, which doesn’t include the various and sundry miscellaneous Federal Taxes that we pay throughout the year, such as per gallon of gas, federal telecommunications taxes, etc.  And, by the way, those Federal Excise Taxes that we pay on gasoline add up to roughly $277.00 annually in my household.

Since I am a Libertarian, that’s with a capital “L”, it would not be within my political, or otherwise, philosophy to sit here and say that I am not “getting my fair share” but when I look at the inequity of what we have taken from us vs what we receive I am sorely tempted… especially this time of year and while contemplating the ramifications of a severe pandemic of H5N1 with the woeful lack of meaningful governmental mitigation preparations.

PS: For all you nosy people with nothing better to do, you can not arrive at our GI by the figures supplied, so I thought I would spare ya the effort.

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