By Haddon Libby
I think we all know that the Federal Government wastes an awful lot of money. Below are just a few of the more outrageous wastes of our tax dollars:
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) gave the Colorado Symphony $15,000 in order to host “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series.” The program encouraged people to inhale and eat during the show. In another questionable use of taxpayer funds, $10,000 was used to produce “Hallucinatory” the story of a girl pretending to be Elvis. In one of her hallucinations, she is in a hotel room with Teddy Roosevelt where they are both in their underwear riding Elvis like a bucking bronco.
For the kiddies, the NEA spent $10,000 to produce the musical “Zombie in Love.”
Nearly $1 million was spent on poetry for three zoos meant to help raise awareness of environmental issues.
Taxpayers spend $1.8 million subsidizing the Museum of Neon Signs in Las Vegas.
The University of Santa Cruz received $615,000 to digitize Grateful Dead photos, tickets and T-shirts. They also received $856,000 to determine if captive mountain lions could be taught to walk on treadmills. The answer was ‘yes’ and it takes eight months.
University of New Hampshire received $700,000 to study cow farts.
Purdue University received $350,000 to determine if golfers who imagine that the hole is bigger sink more putts. They do.
Stanford received $239,100 to see how online dating affects the way Americans find love. The primary finding was that it helped same-sex partners more than any other group.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) spent $442,340 to study the behavior of male prostitutes in Vietnam while $800,000 was spent in South Africa to promote genital washing.
The NIH has also spent $387,000 massaging rabbits to see if the massages help in them in recovering from a variety of illnesses. At the end of the study, the rabbits were euthanized.
The University of California-Irvine received a $3 million grant so that their ‘researchers’ could play video games like Warcraft to study emerging forms of communication, including multiplayer computer games and online virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life.
A whopping $5.2 million was spent creating the video game Future Coast where rising sea levels and weather abnormalities create anarchy.
A Minnesota zoo received $600,000 to create the video game Wolfquest while a Dartmouth college professor received $137,500 to create a recession themed video game called Layoff.
The US Army spends $414,000 a year maintaining the online video game, America’s Army. Former Senator Tom Coburn who served on the Senate Intelligence Committee said that the game is not so much a recruitment tool for the Army but a way for jihadists and other murderers to practice.
If all of those are not crazy enough, the State Department spends $3 million annually ‘tweeting’ terrorist groups around the world via a campaign called “Think Again Turn Away”. Time Magazine stated that “this is not only ineffective but provides jihadists with a stage.” This is a program started while Hillary Clinton was in charge.
If all of that is not upsetting enough the V.A. spends nearly $200 million maintaining empty buildings yet over 300,000 veterans have died while awaiting V.A. medical care over the last twenty years. To try and improve veteran wait times, at least forty facilities were intentionally zeroing out wait times in order to make their numbers look better – a behavior dates back more than a decade.
In the ultimate story of government waste, $50,000 was used to develop and market Alpaca “Poop Packs” as fertilizer.
Haddon Libby is an Investment Advisor at Winslow Drake and can be reached at 760.449.6349 or HLibby@WinslowDrake.com.