3 Examples of the US Government Wasting Tax Dollars

When March rolls around every year, Americans moan and groan over the preparation of our tax dollars. We hate it because we don’t want to give away our hard earned money; but when you think about it at its core, shouldn’t we be honored to help fund public works and projects that make our society better?

In our gut, we know the government isn’t efficient with those tax dollars. We’ve read the headlines, we’ve seen how our elected officials behave, and we’ve been watching the collapse of our political electorate. We don’t want to pay taxes because we don’t believe they are being used correctly.

Here are just 3 small but revealing examples of the US government wasting tax dollars in recent years:

1.Jaws & Sharks:

In 2016, taxpayers paid for a US$3 million National Science Foundation grant to explore the public’s fear of the Jaws theme song, as well as the music played during documentaries. The researchers noted that, “this study specifically highlights the need to raise the public’s awareness of the effect of background music in shark documentaries in hopes that it would decrease the extent by which they are affected by it.” Given the massive debt the US shoulders, diverting millions of dollars to learn more about the Jaws theme song probably shouldn’t be a priority.

2.Quails & Cocaine

Did you know the government has spent more than US$518,000 in federal grants to study how cocaine affects the sexual behavior of Japanese quails? Researchers were trying to see how cocaine abuse affected risky sexual behaviors in humans, which is why they thought the sexual behaviors of quails would be something that is comparable. If you’re scratching your head, don’t worry, I am, too.

3.Empty Buildings:

There are about 770,000 unused buildings throughout the US, according to a report released in 2016. Of these old schools, firehouses, offices, etc., the government is required to pay for their upkeep and maintenance, such as basic power, mowed lawns, and pipes that won’t freeze in the winter. Well, as you can imagine, these costs add up. They add up so much, that the figure is around US$1.7 billion every single year. Surely, the government can come up with a better solution than keeping unused buildings at a cost billions of dollars, right?

Honorable wasteful government spending mentions go to the Federal Register, a daily document that highlights government proposals, etc. placed on every member of Congress’ desk, costing tax payers over $1 million per year – not to mention environmental degradation. The document could easily be made digital and sent to all Congressmen and women via email. Of course, we can’t forget that for the last 20 years, according to research from Northwestern University, over US$3 million has been diverted to injecting hamsters with steroids, measuring if the drug turned them “trained fighters”.

You get the picture. When left with funds, the government seems increasingly wasteful with tax dollars, highlighting the efficiency and efficacy of a private sector. With this kind of fiscal irresponsibility, at arms length from any public input, it’s little wonder that many people are calling for meaningful democratic reform in the US and beyond.