By Adam Andrezejewski for RealClearPolicy

We remember when taxpayers paid $1.3 million to run shrimp on treadmills. U.S. Senator Rand Paul just discovered that lizards are more expensive: the National Science Foundation (NSF) wants to spend $1.6 million.

Running lizards on treadmills is part of the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, formerly known as the Endless Frontier Act, sponsored by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Todd Young (R-IN), authorizing $110 billion for technology research over a five-year period.

The bill proposes spending on research such as artificial intelligence, high performance computing, and advanced manufacturing, and the commercialization of those technologies to businesses in the U.S.

Proponents argue the funding to expand science and technology research will help the U.S. compete with China.

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But Paul said with the national debt at $28 trillion and growing, the U.S. should be reining in wasteful spending and not borrowing more money from China to fund such legislation.

“I don’t think this bill makes us stronger,” Paul said, according to Fox News. “In fact, I think the Chinese sit back … and laugh at America thinking we’re going to be stronger by borrowing more money from China.”

For context, the national debt was $5.8 trillion at the start of George W. Bush’s term, $19.9 trillion at the end of Barack Obama’s term, and $28 trillion at the end of Donald Trump’s term.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

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