NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Government Wastes Your Money on Golf Courses, Manure Marketing

November 7, 2014

When it comes to cutting government spending, writes A. Barton Hinkle at, politicians in Washington often argue two things: that the government cannot balance the budget just by targeting waste, and that sequestration spending cuts have been "devastating." Lately, many in the government have insisted that we would have an Ebola vaccine by now, if only federal agencies were given enough funding.

While cutting waste would not balance the budget (due to our massive entitlement programs which dwarf all other spending items), there is a great deal of room to cut waste and fraud, says Hinkle. As for sequestration and an Ebola vaccine, maybe government agencies just need to shift around some priorities; federal agencies have a great deal of money, but the way they choose to spend it can, at the very least, raise some eyebrows.

Hinkle details some of the ridiculous items the federal government spent taxpayer dollars on over the last year, as identified by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.):

  • The Federal Aviation Administration spent $5 million to renovate a golf course in South Dakota.
  • Despite a missile defense system's 70 percent failure rate, the government spent $41 billion on it.
  • The government spent $1.25 million in taxpayer funds on a Grammy Museum in Cleveland, Mississippi
  • The Pentagon spent $1 billion in order to destroy $16 billion in unwanted ammunition.
  • The USDA spent $50,000 to help Alpaca farmers market manure.
  • The National Science Foundation Spent $171,000 to teach monkeys to play video games and $331,000 on a study which found that hungry people were also cranky.

For more on wasteful government spending -- which includes Swedish massages for rabbits -- see here.  

Source: A. Barton Hinkle, "Here's How the Government Is Wasting Your Tax Dollars,", November 5, 2014. 


Browse more articles on Tax and Spending Issues