A congressman called this ramp 'government waste.' It didn't go well for him.

The Capitol Reflecting Pool: a serene, welcoming sight for stressed-out members of Congress and their aides as they hurry to work each morning.

And a serene, welcoming refuge for the ducks that call it home.

The pool's appeal to the mallards of D.C. is clear: open air, clean water — a nice, calm place to live.

The downside: Because the pool is enclosed by a small limestone ridge, ducklings have a hard time getting in and out.

Unlike most problems in Washington, however, this one had a fairly straightforward solution.

The Architect of the Capitol, the agency in charge of maintaining the pool, appropriated a couple of bucks and built two cheap little ramps for the lil' guys to climb:

Photo by the Architect of the Capitol.

All good, right?

Apparently, not for everyone, because ... Washington.

The site of the ramp appeared to perplex and infuriate Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina, who took to social media to express his displeasure.  

Where the pool stewards saw an inexpensive, simple fix to improve the lives of a few dozen ducklings, the congressman apparently saw a wanton misuse of taxpayer dollars.

Needless to say, however, some people on Twitter were ... confused.

Most people simply did not see what the congressman saw. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Turns out, a good number of Americans aren't opposed to spending somewhere south of $0.000000001 of their tax dollars on small solutions that actually work.

Skepticism of excessive government spending is healthy — but it's not "waste" if the spending actually solves problems.

"The ducks have an uncanny ability to locate a way out of the water, if one is provided," Anne Lewis, president of animal welfare organization City Wildlife, said in a statement defending the ramps.

"We can never truly predict their behavior, but our goal is to provide them the means to get in and out of the water, which is what they need to do in the wild to protect their duckling from becoming waterlogged or cold."

Agreeing on cheap solutions to small problems might even help us come together to fix the bigger, more controversial ones.

Solving issues like health care and taxes will require enormous amounts of effort and, ultimately, compromise. Most critically, solving them will require the government to work and, yes, spend money.

Building duck ramps is a small but real example of why it's important to have a working government. Programs like this may not turn a profit — which might make them seem like "waste." But that's not the point.

The goal is simply to make people's — and waterfowl's — lives a little easier.

Ultimately, uniting as Americans to agree to help a few ducklings find their way home is the least we can do.

Photo by skeeze/Pixabay.

Not to mention, photographic evidence proves the spending was efficient!

Waddle on, baby ducks. Waddle on.

Correction 5/17/2017: This story originally stated that the ramps were installed at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The ramps were actually installed at the Capitol Reflecting Pool.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

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Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

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True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

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