This week, President Obama told ABC News that the current national debt, approaching $17 trillion, is “sustainable” and he does not feel the need to try to balance the budget.

Where is Herbert Hoover when we need an economic genius?

Just about every honest economist knows that running up massive debt without an effective strategy to improve the economy is flat out dangerous. If the U.S. dollar collapses, there will be a worldwide depression that will make the recent recession look like an after-party at George Clooney’s house.

In the meantime, I can report the following federal expenditures that the President apparently has no problem overseeing:

– $27 million to the country of Morocco to teach the folks over there how to make pottery. I guess the Moroccan government is not capable of pottery instruction. This con is courtesy of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which now has the nerve to tell us that the pottery project is “not on track to achieve its goals.” Translation, the dollars we’ve sent are likely to have been stolen.

– $1.5 million to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston to study why many lesbian Americans are overweight. The National Institutes of Health calls the situation “an issue of high public health significance.” Sure. Everybody’s talking about it.

– $947,000 to research a “Mars menu.” What astronauts would eat on the planet Mars if they ever get there. NASA says it will send six volunteers into a barren Hawaiian landscape to eat stuff so it can figure out what tastes good on Mars. I am NOT making this up, with apologies to Dave Barry.

– $325,000 to develop a robot squirrel. The National Science Foundation wants the robots to scare rattlesnakes. The agency also says the robosquirrels will help in “public outreach.” Does anyone know what that means? Rocky? Bulwinkle? …

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