The federal government doled out 560,771 grants in fiscal year 2016, totaling $583 billion. On average, each grant exceeded $1 million.
Research shows pork-barrel spending is bipartisan, as the top 50 grant-receiving districts are represented by 27 democrats and 23 republicans. The top 10 congressional districts are evenly split: 5 democrats and 5 republicans.
Consider just a few examples of taxpayer abuse:
- Virtual Reality Platform to Teach Children in China How to Cross the Street – $183,750 from the Department of Health and Human Services funded a virtual reality platform in China to teach safe pedestrian techniques.
- New Condom Design with More Lubrication – $200,601 in taxpayer money funded a new condom design that lowers the chance of breakage and increases “satisfaction between partners.”
- Cigar Taste Test – $114,375 funded a study to determine whether cigar flavor affected its addictiveness.
- Sex Ed for Prostitutes in California – $1.5 million funded “safer sex and needle” education for prostitutes in California even though prostitution is illegal in the state.
- Space Racers: An Animated Children’s Cartoon – $2.5 million in NASA funding supported the production of two seasons of a children’s cartoon series about galactic adventures.
These grants flowed to state governments ($505 billion); higher education institutions ($35 billion); for profit organizations including Fortune 100 companies ($2.5 billion); nonprofit organizations ($19.8 billion); and more.
Fortune 100 companies received $3.2 billion in federal grants between fiscal year 2014 and 2016. Boeing can’t argue it needed $774 million in federal grants while reporting nearly $95 billion in 2016 annual revenue.
How can we rein in this insanity? The people must bring the heat, so the politicians see the light on fiscal restraint.
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