Some of us waited until the last minute to stuff a tax return in an envelope and drop it in the mail at the stroke of midnight, but we share something with those who e-filed months ago. We all wonder why our taxes are so high.
Federal agents extract $1.3 trillion in individual income taxes from Americans every year, and the watchdog organization Citizens Against Government Waste estimates $616 billion of that is blown on duplicated and useless projects. That’s equal to $5,300 for every family in the United States.
Several examples: The cash payments to Uncle Sam were essential in preserving a National Institutes of Health initiative to fund male prostitutes in Mexico. So far, recipients have been paid $398,213 for using condoms and testing negative for sexually transmitted diseases.
The agency used federal tax dollars to underwrite the cost of an Arizona State University study that paid 21- to 30-year-olds to play video poker while getting bombed on taxpayers’ booze. The $49,198 study sought to determine if getting drunk results in poor gambling choices. If taxes were cut in half, we might never know the answer to this burning question. (But we have a good guess.)
Imagine the neighbors’ outrage if the State Department hadn’t spent $704,198 on landscaping at the home of the U.S. ambassador to NATO in Brussels.
Six Colorado-based Office of Natural Resources Revenue employees were tasked with preventing waste and fraud of tax dollars. They used taxpayer largesse to finance new scams, including a $13,000 vacation in Las Vegas. Rather than attend a fraud investigators conference in Denver like they were assigned to do, federal bureaucrats headed to Las Vegas and stayed there for an extra party day after the conference ended, at public expense.
Read more: Washington Times