Why SS has a short fall
being replaced with paper IOUs. The generosity you you senior citizens is heart warming.
As the government exits the business of using chimpanzees for scientific research, taxpayers just might go bananas over the animals' retirement tab.
The National Institutes of Health, the government's medical research arm, is spending about $12 million annually to care for the chimps formerly used for research, some of it for a retirement sanctuary in Louisiana where the animals are housed.
And the agency is soon in danger of reaching a $30 million cumulative spending cap that Congress set for the retirement home, dubbed Chimp Haven. That means NIH will need to go to Congress or another source for more money.
Adding to the complication, the costs to taxpayers are rising.
In 2011, taxpayers supported 713 animals at a cost of $11.6 million, according to NIH records. But last year the price tag rose to $12.4 million, even though NIH supported 40 fewer chimps.
To put the whole program in perspective, the $12.4 million price tag last year is about half the tab that the Smithsonian reports it costs to run the entire National Zoo in Washington, D.C. And the NIH's average daily retirement cost of $50 per chimp is way more generous than the $133 per month that the government gives the average impoverished American in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.