In wake of the IRS scandal, we must wonder in what other ways our government is misusing our tax dollars. Not only did the IRS target conservative groups, but it also spent millions on lavish conferences, expensive luxury hotels, toys, and more. This only scratches the surface of how the government is inefficiently and bizarrely spending our money. Below are 14 examples of unbelievable federal expenditures, including talking urinal cakes and home tax credits for non-home owners.
These examples of ridiculous government waste, amounting to over $1 billion, prove that we can cut spending. These also prove the point of fiscally-oriented groups, like Americans for Tax Reform, led by Grover Norquist, which advocate for smaller government, lower taxes, and sensible spending. There is waste to be cut, and we will be better off once it's cut.
Next time President Obama demands that hard-working Americans need to pay more in taxes, or "pay their fair share," remember all the wasteful spending we could cut which would generate substantial revenue.
1. Terrorist Seeking Employment:
As it turns out, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, or "GITMO," are offered more than jail time ... they're offered resume-writing classes paid for by YOU. While America is in difficult economic times, these inmates should be able to find a job in no time with their expertly-written resumes! Other classes offered at GITMO include a life-skills class, personal health and wellness, and art classes. If this is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars, then what isn't?
2. It Gets Better for GITMO Detainees:
These criminals also have a soccer field funded by American taxpayers. Don't worry, it only cost $750,000 to build.
3. Funding the Hand That Feeds You
America's debt is largely held by China. When we don't pay our bills, we borrow from the Communist country. However, we still spend $17.8 million for "social and environmental programs" in China. In other words, we borrow money from China to spend it on China, and we still get the bill.
4. Helping Chinese Prostitutes Drink Responsibly
That isn't all we do for China. We also spent $2.6 million to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly. One again, there is the dilemma of borrowing money from China to help China. There is also the added component ... that prostitutes' biggest problem probably isn't alcohol.
Can you think of a worse use of government funding? I can!
5. Sex, Drugs, and ... Japanese Quail?:
The federal government spent $357,000 to figure out the age-old question: does cocaine make Japanese quail partake in risky sexual behavior? Aren't you glad the government has taken it upon itself to spend your money more intelligently than you ever could? If the government didn't make quails high on cocaine, who would?
6. Ghosts are People Too!:
The federal government pays pensions of deceased employees, costing $120 million. According to the Huffington Post:
"One man, whose father died in 1971, continued to receive payments until 2008 when he himself died, costing the government $515,000, according to the report."
7. Home Tax Credits for Non-Homeowners:
According to Senator Tom Coburn's "Wastebook," Congress is:
"... deadlocked over whether or not savings could be found by closing loopholes within the complex tax code. Meanwhile, the IRS approved roughly $1 billion in tax credits intended for energy efficiency home improvements to individuals who did not even own a house. These recipients included prisoners and children, some probably not even old enough to own a doll house."
Senator Coburn actually begins the report by stating:
Robot dragons, video games, Christmas trees, snow cone machines, and chocolate.
This is not a Christmas wish list. These are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars this year."
8. Might as Well Put Tax Dollars in the Garbage Disposal:
The military once spent $998,798 to ship two 19-cent washers (yes, the tiny metal disk that is put below a screw) from South Carolina to Texas and $293,451 to send an 89-cent washer from South Carolina to Florida.
9. Duck Penis:
No, the above title is not, in fact, a typo. Rather, it is an expenditure by the federal government. Yale University was awarded $384,949 to study "'Sexual Conflict, Social Behavior and the Evolution of Waterfowl Genitalia', according to the recovery.gov website."
"The grant description says,'The project examines how reproductive morphology covaries with season, age, and social environment in a diverse sample of duck species that differ in ecology, territoriality and breeding system.'"
You can thank the stimulus package for this ... innovative ... use of your dollars.
10. Stimulating the Moroccan Economy with Pottery:
According to Senator Coburn's 2012 "Wastebook," in 2009, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) implemented a plan "to improve the economic competitiveness of Morocco" costing $27 million. An important component of this included "training Moroccans to create and design pottery to sell indomestic and international markets."
11. Robot Squirrels:
$325,000 was spent on robo-squirrels to test what rattlesnakes would do when confronted with them. "RoboSquirrel is 'a taxidermied actual squirrel that is stored with live squirrels so it smells real.'" This is also in Senator Coburn's "Wastebook 2012."
12. Caviar - Fund, but Don't Eat:
"Fish Processors of Idaho was given a $300,000 Value-Added Producer Grant by USDA to create a website, print flyers and send the company's owner to trade shows 'in places like Boston and Chicago' to 'entice distributors to bring his caviar to the masses.'"
That's right. You paid for caviar you will never eat.
13. Subsidizing People Reliving Prom:
$516,000 of your money was spent to make a video game providing taxpayers with the opportunity to relive prom. In 2012, the National Science Foundation (NSF) "supported the creation of 'Prom Week,' a video game simulating all the social interactions of the event." For that kind of money, one would expect the graphics would be a little more sophisticated, and not created in MS Paint.
14. Talking Urinal Cakes:
This takes the cake for the most bizarre expenditure. The federal government paid $10,000 for talking urinal cakes, encouraging users to drive safely.
According to the "Wastebook 2012":
"Nearly 200 bars and restaurants received the cakes from the state transportation department in hopes the device would 'generate a conversation' among male bar-goers and their friends. For the male Michiganders relieving themselves, one of the messages read by afemale voice says:
'Listen up. That’s right! I’m talking to you. Had a few drinks? Maybe a few too many? Then do yourself and everyone else a favor. Call a sober friend or a cab. Oh, and don't forget. Wash your hands.'”
If you have ever doubted that government spending is out of control, this should set you straight. Talking waste receptacles are far beyond the most ridiculous expenditure one could ever imagine.