Christmas Gifts from the Federal Government

by | Dec 24, 2016

Go ahead and call me cuckoo, and I’ll agree with you.  After all, only a nut would get up at 4:30 in the morning of Christmas Eve and do research that the local media should do but will never do.

The research was to determine who in my zip code got federal grants, contracts, and loans during the year and who will get them next year.  Let’s call these Christmas gifts from the federal government.

Actually, the research only takes a couple of minutes, which apparently is too much time for the local media to do its job.

All one has to do is:

  1. Go to This is a website maintained by the U.S. Government as required by the Federal Funding and Accountability Act of 2006.  It’s a searchable database of where all the money goes.
  2. Enter your zip code and other search information.
  3. Have an air sickness bag and Maalox nearby in case you get nauseous over what you’ll find.

For my zip code, I found data that you will find fascinating and disgusting, because there is no doubt that you’d find similar amounts of manna from heaven being dropped on your zip code by the Feds.

Among scores of other recipients of government largess in my zip code, I found that the Trade Training Company, LLC has received $983,717 from the U.S. Department of Education, in the form of student loans.

Now you’re probably under the delusion that the Department of Education’s core mission is to improve the abysmal academic performance of the nation’s K-12 public schools.  Silly you.  The real mission, as with all government agencies, is to spread money around in each congressional district so that members of Congress can get campaign contributions and votes from the recipients, so that it becomes nearly impossible to vote them out of office and totally impossible politically to cut the federal budget.

Having never heard of the Trade Training Company, I went to Buzzfile, which had this description:

Trade Training Company, which also operates under the name Sonoran Desert Institute, is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. This organization primarily operates in the Professional Schools business / industry within the Educational Services sector. This organization has been operating for approximately 5 years. Trade Training Company is estimated to generate $299,492 in annual revenues, and employs approximately 4 people at this single location.

The company is located in a Class A office building several blocks from my house.  Of the many expensive cars I see in the parking lot, one of them is probably owned by the top cheese at the company.

Buzzfile had a link for the company’s website.  Clicking on the link, I was taken to the Sonoran Desert Institute and its School of Firearms Technology.

The School of Firearms Technology offers four programs:

Associate of Science in Firearms Technology Degree

As our most advanced program, this 60-credit hour Associate Degree covers gunsmithing, history, shooting sports management, general education and much more!

Cost:   $16,980

Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate

This 32-credit program offers an in-depth look into troubleshooting, modifications, hydrographic and other coatings, ballistics, and more… plus a complete build project of your choice (choose from AR-10 or AR-15)!

Cost: $8,990

Ballistics and Reloading Certificate

This non-credit program, developed in partnership with Gun Digest, offers a targeted look at course topics including ballistics, reloading, bullet swaging, casting, and more! Hornady Lock n Load (TM) Press included with program. 

Cost:  $1,250

Advanced Armorer Courses

Our Advanced Armorer courses cover the history, accessories, ammo and build process of the most popular rifle platforms. These Advanced Armorer Courses include instructions on milling out an 80% lower receiver and completing your build.

Cost:  $1,375


The website details how to get student loans.  The information for veterans is particularly interesting:



Military and previous military students make up the majority of our student body at SDI, and we’re proud of that. After all, individuals with military experience make for exemplary students! Our staff members are constantly helping veterans choose the right programs for them, and over our nearly 100-year history, thousands of veterans have graduated from our programs. We’re here to help walk you through your VA Benefits application process and SDI enrollment process.

SDI’s military-friendly status means that we offer convenient programming, flexible schedules, affordable payment plans, and that we comply with all requirements of the VA and DoD. Classes start year-round, courses are self-directed, and you’ll get instructors’ help quickly and easily, should you need it. Plus, our VA Certifying Officials are here to answer questions about your benefits enrollment process. Let us serve you by offering a quality education with a clear and expedited enrollment process.

SDI is approved for use of a qualified student’s:

  • Post-911 GI Bill
  • Montgomery GI Bill

And other programs for those who qualify!

Ready to enroll? You can start your application process HERE and we’ll get you started as soon as possible!


As an aside, this former Army officer, who served eight years of active and reserve duty, has heard the same stories you’ve heard about how veterans are treated so badly by the nation. I suggest that you do the job that the media won’t do and research how many programs are available to veterans.

Another aside:  I have a fantasy that one of the mainstream networks or one of the cable networks will come out with a new reality show, one that follows federal money to see where it is going and how the recipients live.  The producers would never run out of material, and it would be as big of a hit as “Judge Judy.”

Silly me.

Anyway, to all the recipients of federal largess, Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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