An infuriating look at government waste

The Fiscal Times has a couple of very good articles concerning government waste.

The first is titled ‘12 Incredible Examples of Government Waste‘, and is precisely what it says – twelve of the more egregious examples of foolish and wasteful spending.  Here’s one example.

Robot Squirrel: $325,000

Researchers at San Diego State University and the University of California, Davis spent part of a $325,000 National Science Foundation grant to make “RoboSquirrel,” a taxidermied rodent that can wag its tail. The purpose: to help study interactions between squirrels and rattlesnakes. “During these difficult fiscal times of massive deficits, paying $325,000 for a robot squirrel seems a bit squirrelly,” the report says. But other robot mammals are in the works, including RoboSquirrel 2.0 and RoboKangarooRat.

There are more at the link.

The second is titled ‘Government Wastes More Money than You Think‘.  It points out:  “If we saved only half of the $788 billion we waste, we could dump the sequester, fix our infrastructure, bolster education, and grow the economy.”  For example, in the Department of Labor alone, the article identified the following wasteful and/or fraudulent expenditures:

Dropouts from Underperforming Job Programs – $118,000,000
Overpayments – $148,000,000
Consumer Fraud – $14,000,000,000

Again, more at the link.

(The Fiscal Times seems like an interesting and reasonably balanced source.  Among their recent opinion pieces, they’ve bashed both the Right and the Left of US politics.  Balanced sources are worth finding, so I’ve bookmarked this one.  Recommended.)



  1. "During these difficult fiscal times of massive deficits, paying $325,000 for a robot squirrel seems a bit squirrelly"

    Seems a bit criminal to me, especially given the current state of robotics which have been and can be created using off-the-shelf )read: Toy Store) components.

  2. Seriously criminal. You think Grant Imahara (from Mythbusters) spends $350k on the robotic stuff he does for the show? That amount would probably cover his budget for the entire time he's been on the show doing his thing!!! And what he builds does far more than just wag a tail.

    This kind of thing needs to be widely and loudly publicized.

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