Pop Quiz: What's the Weirdest Stuff Your Tax Dollars Get Spent On?

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The Waste BookRecently, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla) released Waste Book 2012, his analysis of 100 federally funded programs that he considers especially wasteful. Between Waste Book's covers, he outlines some of the funniest -- and strangest -- things that are paid for with our tax dollars.

Coburn's point is clear: It's hard to see how the Department of Defense's $700,000 beef jerky development program, the Small Business Administration's $2 million in loans to cupcake makers or the National Science Federation's $697,177 musical about climate change could possibly bear economic fruit. What's more, with those kinds of projects on the ledger, it's hard to argue that the government is restraining spending.

Think you can spot the strangest projects, the oddest programs, and the weirdest ways that your tax dollars are spent? Take our quiz to find out.



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FrenziedCrawdad

The Starlite game project listed here as having a $1.5 million investment from NASA is inaccurate. NASA has not put any money into the development of the game. Instead, the developers won a competition to partner with NASA, but they provide the development funding. NASA is providing access to data and other assets it has to make the game authentic. Instead of being a poor use of government funds, the project represents a great example of of a public-private partnership to solve a tough national challenge of engaging students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Government institutions such as NASA and DoD and private industry need more and better STEM graduates to fill the jobs of the future and projects like Starlite are attempting to solve those gaps. Keeping kids interested in STEM is a huge problem, and NASA and its mission are a great tool for sustaining or generating the interest.

January 27 2014 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaguar6cy

Since 47% of tax payers pay no Federal Tax at all, they really have no reason to care. The liberal and "progressive" goal is to get that number well over 50% so that a voting majority won't care. Once that happens all bets are off as to the future of the country. When people don't pay taxes, they have no reason to care, and they won't. Some want to pretend that isn't true, but it is fantasy to believe them.

October 30 2012 at 1:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard

The US Government is obligated to spend every dumb dollar that Congress sends its way via a congressman's special interests to get re-election.

October 29 2012 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Master Wong

Whose presidency would ignite an economic boom?
Make your selection below:
Romney

October 29 2012 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Master Wong's comment
LongDuckDong

If by economic boom you are refering to the sound the economy will make when it crashes after he single handedly destroyes the middle class of America then yeah you picked the right choice in Romney.

October 29 2012 at 11:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mrgem

It is long past time to hold our elected officials accountable for every single funding bill that includes this crap. And it is also time to hold the President accountable for signing these incredibly stupid bills into law.

Stop it, Washington...or face a voter backlash that will make 2010 look like an easy election for incumbents.

October 29 2012 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Broken Pencil

Shrimp on a treadmill. Can you think of anything weirder?

October 29 2012 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Broken Pencil's comment
mikelookup

Broken. You took the words right out of my mouth.

October 29 2012 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ulanda Scotts

Please look at this interesting article about fraud waste and abuse of your tax dollars..........http://fbiowaspies.blogspot.com/

October 29 2012 at 6:21 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
tony

Hey brusey, penny's are 97% zinc.
Since 1982 also.
Certainly makes thou wonder if all the other stuff here is accurate.

October 29 2012 at 3:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
engineherder

Every town I have been in has cupcake stores that apparently are making money. I assume they are paying back their SBA loans.

October 27 2012 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NIGHTSUB

ObamaCare Flatlines: ObamaCare Taxes Home Sales - Clobbers Middle-Class Americans

October 27 2012 at 8:02 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply