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Five Outrageous Ways the Federal Government Has Wasted Your Money (Part III)

Jun 19, 2018 by AFP

The federal government is no stranger to out-of-control spending.

The national debt has now reached a startling $21 trillion!

That’s not all: Congress recently passed an omnibus spending package that will cost $1.3 trillion. But wasteful federal spending doesn’t stop there.

The federal government has misused your money on various pet projects, both large and small, over the years. It’s time to expose this wasteful spending.

Read on to discover five more crazy examples of government waste, as described in Sen. James Lankford’s 2016 Federal Fumbles report.

$1.2 Million Spent Teaching Robots to Pick Outfits for the Elderly

In 2015, American taxpayers subsidized this National Science Foundation project, which focused on teaching robots how to choose outfit combinations for the elderly.

While technological advancements are important, asking taxpayers to foot a million-dollar bill for a pet project like this is outrageous.

These types of projects could easily be funded by private research groups, not the American people.

$47,400 Spent on an iPad Application

If you’ve ever boarded an airplane, you’ve probably experienced the long wait times associated with Transportation Security Administration security lines.

To cut down on extra-long wait times, the TSA paid IBM more than $47,000 to develop an iPad app to randomly determine whether an uncleared passenger should go through the TSA Pre-Check line or the regular security line.

Sound problematic? It was. Using a random app to allow people through the limited Pre-Check security line was risky.

TSA conducted tests using the app in 2015 and failed 67 out of 70 times to detect guns and explosives brought through the security line.

Following these tests, the agency implemented new rules limiting the number of passengers who can use the pre-check line without being cleared. Ultimately, the TSA wasted more than $47,000 of your hard-earned tax dollars on a simple iPad app that it can no longer use.

$1,000 Spent on Custom Snuggies 

A 2016 audit of a National Science Foundation grant to the University of Washington found thousands of taxpayer dollars spent wastefully by university researchers.

Auditors discovered that researchers spent $1,179 on embroidered Snuggies and another $2,149 to rent a museum for a committee lunch meeting.

While grants to universities can help fund legitimate and important research, renting out expensive venues for lunch meetings and buying custom-branded Snuggies for researchers on the taxpayers’ dime are obvious examples of unnecessary and wasteful spending.

$412,000 to Study Glaciers from a Feminist Perspective 

This is one study that needed to be put on ice.

The National Science Foundation spent $412,930 to fund a study that analyzed the relationship between feminist theories and glaciers. Not cool.

While some studies have direct and tangible benefits for the American people, this one did not. And it cost taxpayers an outrageous sum of money that would take the average American years to earn in the process.

$3.1 Million Spent on a Federal Soap Opera 

The federal government isn’t Hollywood.

Yet, since 2008, the National Institutes of Health has spent more than $3.1 million filming and developing a 12-episode soap opera series titled “Love, Sex, and Choices.”

The series, designed to encourage Americans to make smarter decisions to prevent HIV/AIDs, was later found to have no more impact than a simple text message.

In other words, the NIH wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on an elaborate education project that could have been conducted more efficiently and effectively through other means.

While many of these examples may seem funny, wasteful spending is no joke.

The federal government has spent millions of your hard-earned tax dollars over the years on pointless projects, and the cost borne by current and future taxpayers only continues to grow.

 Tell Congress to stop wasting our hard-earned tax dollars and cut wasteful and egregious spending as they write the FY 2019 spending bills.