Tags: things the government spends money on | examples of government spending

7 Bizarre Things the Government Has Spent Money On

A California blue gray gnatcatcher
A California blue gray gnatcatcher (Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 September 2019 10:26 AM

We all pay our taxes and the U.S. government still spends more than it takes in, but some of the things the government spends money on will shock you. Here, we take a look at seven strange, bizarre things the government has spent money on:

  1. Paying hipsters to stop smoking. In an effort to attract the attention of young adults, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent millions on anti-smoking campaigns aimed at "a group focused on the alternative music scene, local artists and designers, and eclectic self-expression." This involved investing $5 million in branded merchandise as well as smoke-free events where the trendiest indie bands performed, Reader's Digest noted. Possibly the most bizarre example of government spending, however, was paying hipsters $100 to quit smoking and then to blog about it.
  2. Funding "Doggie Hamlet." Why settle for watching humans perform in "Hamlet" at the theatre when you could see humans and dogs perform alongside one another in an open field? In a report outlining the weirder things the government has spent money on, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., noted that at one point, the National Endowment for the Arts spent $30,000 on a production called "Doggie Hamlet," which featured humans chasing dogs around in a New Hampshire field, according to Business Insider.
  3. Funding fighting hamsters. The National Institutes of Health reportedly funded a project by Northwestern University that basically involved watching hamsters fight. The project lasted for more than 20 years and received over $3 million, Reader's Digest noted. Some of the experiments saw hamsters injected with steroids and then put into a cage together to monitor their level of aggression. When animal rights activists got wind of the campaign, they pressured the lab to halt experiments.
  4. Paying to pass the blame. "Does media choice cause polarization, or does polarization cause media choice?" That was the question for which the National Science Foundation paid $400,000 to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to ponder, Business Insider reported.
  5. Maintaining ghost buildings. There are roughly 770,000 unused and underused buildings nationwide, according to recent data reported by Reader's Digest. Maintaining them costs about $1.7 billion every year. Not the best example of government spending.
  6. Paying the Department of Defense to bird-watch. In California, cowbirds are causing concerns over the survival of the California gnatcatcher, which has been designated a threatened bird species. In response, the Department of Defense approved a $283,500 grant so that the life of baby gnatcatchers can be monitored.
  7. Super Bowl ad. Americans love the Super Bowl and the government knows this. Back in 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau faced massive backlash after spending $2.5 million in taxpayer money to air an ad during the Super Bowl, Reader's Digest noted.

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We all pay our taxes and the U.S. government still spends more than it takes in, but some of the things the government spends money on will shock you.
things the government spends money on, examples of government spending
451
2019-26-03
Tuesday, 03 September 2019 10:26 AM
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