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Outrageous government waste on display as report unveils spending on killer snails and unlicensed llamas

Government waste

(NaturalNews) Some examples of wasted government funds would be amusing to contemplate if they didn't represent such a serious and costly burden on taxpayers.

I'm referring to the kind of government regulations, initiatives and studies we often hear about, in which huge amounts of money are thrown away researching insignificant subjects, developing useless and unnecessary programs, or imposing ridiculous restrictions on businesses and individuals.

Republican senator James Lankford from Oklahoma has just released a "Federal Fumbles" report, listing 100 examples of outrageous government expenditures and expensive regulations.

In the introduction to the report, Lankford points out that our national debt has reached almost $19 trillion as federal regulations continue "expanding at a record pace."

Publishing the report is part of Lankford's efforts towards relieving the burden on taxpayers, and he believes that transparency is a vital part of the solution:

"In January I introduced the Taxpayer's Right to Know Act, which creates a central database for the financial data of every federal program in all federal agencies and departments. Agencies and departments would be required to develop performance metrics for all of their programs and provide a yearly report card. This centralized database would provide an accessible source for everyone to see how our federal government spends money and how effectively that money is used. You have every right to know how your government spends your money. Sunlight is the solution to most of our federal waste."

Killer snails, dancing raisins and unlicensed llamas

Although many of the expensive regulations and wasteful programs created by the feds are rather uninteresting and bland to report on, others capture the attention due to their sheer absurdity.

This is helpful in raising awareness among the public, who may not be particularly interested in obscure banking regulations, for example, but who may be somewhat captivated by the more colorful and dramatic examples, such as llama licenses or programs designed to help seniors find romance.

The llama example involved an incident in which two of the creatures escaped a farm, creating an internet sensation when the hashtag #LlamasOnTheLoose went viral. That's when the ever-vigilant U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) got involved and informed the farm's owners that "they needed a license to 'showcase' their llamas, even if people only took a few pictures with the llamas."

A $375,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) study was launched this summer which is designed to seek a "more comprehensive understanding of relationship maintenance efforts" among senior citizens. Lankford's report rather sensibly recommends that dating services be "left to the private sector."

Another brilliant program which received $50,000 from the NSF is called "Killer Snail: An Interactive Marine Biodiversity Learning Tool." This is a project aimed at elementary school kids who will be able to see the world from "a snail's point of view" via an eBook, while also getting to play a mobile video game which will allow them "to experience and explore the life of marine snails." So far, the project has only produced a card game called "Killer Snails: Assassins of the Seas," in which players are encouraged to "create the winning venom cocktail and win the game!"

No laughing matter

These are but three of the hundred examples Lankford has compiled in his report. Many of the others are equally absurd and even humorous to read about, but the fact is that millions of American taxpayers are struggling to simply get by, while the federal government continues to blow money as if there was no tomorrow.

And realistically, if it continues to do so, there will actually be no tomorrow ...

As Lankford said:

"I want our government to provide its necessary and essential services and protections—no more, no less. I do not want the federal government to burden our society with its overregulation and overwhelming debt."




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