WASHINGTON—In recognition of mankind's inherent propensity for tragically foolish decisions, Congress allocated nearly $500 billion Monday for the construction of a new national monument honoring human folly.

"From Hannibal's disastrous crossing of the Alps to Custer's humiliating defeat at Little Bighorn, human history has been plagued by senseless mistakes, and it is high time we built a memorial to honor that history," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said of the expensive and ill-advised monument. "My deepest hope is that future generations of Americans will one day look upon this pointless edifice and be filled with a sense of awe and wonder at mankind's utter lack of foresight."

"To think of all the ways our time and money could have been better spent," Pelosi continued. "I can imagine no more fitting tribute."

According to the bipartisan plan, the proposed monument will be built precariously over a Washington freeway overpass, and will require as many as 30 years of grueling labor to complete. As a representation of humanity's failure to learn from past mistakes, the project is being designed by the architecture firm of Ganz & Weiss, best known for their work on a series of dangerously constructed St. Louis public housing projects that were condemned in the late 1990s.

"Our goal is to create a structure that, like the human race itself, is doomed from the outset and plagued by innate flaws that can never be corrected," Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) said of the monument, which he claimed would eventually sink into the federally protected wetlands that surround it. "Not only will it be an aesthetic disaster, but it will also require constant, expensive maintenance just to ensure that the whole foundation doesn't topple suddenly and kill hundreds of innocent people."

The lead architect on the project, Robert Wheeler, told reporters that the monument would be a stirring testament to more than 200,000 years of arrogance, idiocy, and waste. He also confirmed that no fewer than eight different blueprint designs would be clumsily patched together in order to preserve the spirit of indecision and gross incompetence with which mankind has approached the vast majority of its endeavors.

"The face of the building will be covered with recently excavated sections of the Titanic, as well as several faulty pressure valves from the Chernobyl power plant and hundreds of uranium-tipped shell casings from the first Gulf War," said Wheeler, whose design calls for the monument to be surrounded by dozens of oil derricks pumping night and day into bare dirt. "But the most exciting feature of the memorial, in my opinion, is the giant glowing orb at the top that will symbolize humanity's needless overuse of energy and will itself use a staggering 12 gigawatts of power per second."

According to sources, thousands of poorly paid migrant laborers will carry out construction on the monument, digging straight through underground power lines and gas mains in order to clear a space for the soon-to-be dilapidated foundation. In addition, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed Monday that the construction zone has already been designated as a highly toxic Superfund site, setting the entire project three months behind schedule.

"So far we've spent $40 billion and lost a total of 300 or so construction workers, and we haven't even put in a full day's work," said project manager Tom Matthiessen. "It's been a challenge, but knowing that we're doing this to commemorate the countless lives and resources squandered by human beings throughout history makes it all worthwhile."

Added Matthiessen, "At this rate, I'd say the whole project should be a total, top-to-bottom nightmare by late December."

Although a vast majority of legislators supported the $500 billion bill, a few dissenting voices claimed that the project is an improper use of congressional funds.

"While I am all for paying homage to mankind's tragic legacy of imprudence, surely there are more appropriate ways to do so than this," Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) said. "Why can't we simply give the money back to the taxpayers so they can waste it all on bad investments, botched plastic surgery, and misguided real estate deals? Wouldn't that be a more suitable way of recognizing the complete inanity of our pathetic existence?"

At press time, Congress, and all of humanity itself, was trapped in a self-perpetuating loop of failure that is expected to continue until the inevitable extinction of the human species.