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Should federal money be used to find Amelia Earhart?

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Federal staff time will be paid for by taxes and debt to search for new clues in the whereabouts of Amelia Earhart, whose plane crashed in 1937.

"Wow, this is an exciting day for us," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a Tuesday press conference announcing renewed efforts to find Earhart.

"Now some of you may know that when I was a little girl growing up in Illinois, I was interested in all kinds of stories about women," Clinton said. "And my mother and actually told me about Amelia Earhart. And then when we decided, under President Kennedy’s leadership, that our nation was going to go to the moon and we were going to have an astronaut program, I wanted to be an astronaut. So when I was about 13, I wrote to NASA and asked what I needed to do to try to be an astronaut. And of course, there weren’t any women astronauts, and NASA wrote me back and said there would not be any women astronauts."

We are not finding much justification for more federal dollars going into the Earhart search other that Clinton and others are fascinated with the topic.

We are unaware of any provision of the US Constitution that authorizes the federal government to subsidize a public official's hobby.

Earhart is dead. Have we seen her body? No, so I could be wrong. There may be a hearty Amelia Earhart out there, age 114 years old, with an astounding ability to survive a plane crash and then fend for herself for 75 years.

Federal involvement may not cost much - Clinton did not name a figure in her Tuesday press briefing - but the money s better left unspent during a time of massive deficits crashing in on the American people.

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