Wasteful spending has become synonymous with the federal government. Between spending $3.4 million on “turtle tunnels” and the $60,000 that went towards funding a play about a zombie invasion, the federal government’s track record when it comes to fiscal responsibility is not strong.
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) released a report a few years ago, outlining some of the most egregious examples of wasteful government spending. Though originally released in 2012, the report has continued to supply journalists with material that highlights the absurdity of government spending.
In his report, Flake lists 20 federally funded projects that demonstrate why our country is struggling with overspending and a crippling national debt. This week, media outlets brought one of these projects back into the spotlight, reminding us why it is so important to reign in government spending.
According to the Senator’s office, more than $35 million has been used to fund projects that do nothing to further our national interests. Among the listed projects, there is one entitled, Walking with Coffee: Why Does it Spill.
Most of us have enough common sense to know that walking around the office with a full cup of coffee will probably result in a spill. However, if you’re the federal government, this physics 101 “phenomenon” is so mind-boggling, it warrants allocating $170,000 towards a scientific study.
Under the stewardship of the Pentagon, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), whose mission is “to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security,” gave a grant to the University of California, Santa Barbara to get to the bottom of this caffeinated mystery.
According to the Daily Caller, researchers labeled this project as one that “allowed for the studying of dynamics of liquid sloshing.”
Of course, as anyone over the age of three could tell you, the study concluded that putting a lid on your coffee cup, or simply putting less coffee in said coffee cup would result in a lower chance of spilling your hot beverage.
“In the walking with coffee problem the motions of the human body, while seemingly regular, are quite complex and are coupled to a coffee cup and liquid therein, which makes it difficult to unravel the precise reasons behind coffee spilling.” Clearly, this groundbreaking study will change the way the world views walking with a hot beverage for years to come.
Though it is unclear how exactly this project helped further our national security interests, this example was not even the worst offender of government waste on Flake’s list.
A total of $3.9 million was granted to Bowdoin College researchers in order to study what encourages goldfish to want to mate with other goldfish. The grant was given by the National Science Foundation and was literally coined the research project that would determine, “what makes a goldfish feel sexy.”
The researchers conducting this study were able to conclude that this project, “demonstrated that goldfish can make sexual discriminations using only visual cues, although males and females do not obviously differ in appearance to the human eye.”
Though this may be fascinating research to all those goldfish enthusiasts out there, how this benefits or furthers our country’s scientific aspirations has yet to be seen.
What is known is that this country has a major spending problem, one that will continue to grow worse until the American people begin demanding government accountability. After all, none of these vital scientific studies would be possible without the taxpayers footing the bill.