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Don’t Shed Any Tears For the CDC

Would it surprise you to learn that one of the functions of the Centers for Disease Control is to prevent “teen dating violence”? The CDC also battles bullying.

Preventing injuries – outside the workplace, the CDC stresses – uses up $138 million a year.

And you thought the CDC was supposed to be safeguarding us against diseases – cancer, Ebola, influenza and the like.

Wrong, like most bureaucracies, the CDC – with about $6.9 billion to spend this year – has branched out. That makes for bigger budgets, more employees and more clout.

CDC and National Institutes of Health officials have complained they might have done more about Ebola had those nasty Republicans not cut the agencies’ funding. They didn’t, as I reported yesterday. Matter of fact, Congress gave the CDC more money than President Obama requested.

The agency needs every penny. Did you know it spends $4.5 million a year on “climate preparedness”?

How about the $10 million sought by Obama for gun violence prevention efforts?

Or the $2.5 million for “hospitals promoting breastfeeding” or the $17.2 million to help prevent teen pregnancies? And the CDC spends $38.9 million a year to prevent rapes.

The CDC also spends millions a year on attempts to prevent injuries in motor vehicles. The agency has a separate vehicle safety program for Indian tribes.

Residents of our area may think the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration covers what its title implies. Wrong. The CDC spends $49.6 million a year on mine safety and health.

Now, some of these programs may be worthwhile. Some, such as furthering the president’s anti-gun propaganda campaign, are not.

But that isn’t the point. The point is that the CDC may not be doing its best work on infectious diseases because it spends so much money for non-core mission activities – often duplicating what other taxpayer-funded programs do.

By the way, did you know the CDC is involved in $831 million a year in activities related to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?

Well, it is. According to a CDC budget document, that requires the equivalent of 250 full-time employees – at an average salary of $142,000 a year.

Feeling less sorry for the CDC, now?

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligencer.net.

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