The federal government is hard at work wasting millions in American tax dollars, including spending nearly $1 million on getting zebrafish addicted to nicotine.
The project, funded through the National Institutes of Health, sucked up more than $708,000 in taxpayer funding, according to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s fall edition of his regularly published “Waste Report.”
“They state they will ‘test the hypothesis that genes that show persistent adaptive changes in expression following chronic nicotine exposure are also addiction vulnerability genes,’ or, in other words, testing the relationship between addiction and genetics,” the report stated.
“Everybody agrees that nicotine addiction is a problem. But you have to be smoking something other than nicotine if you think the solution is to ship American tax dollars abroad to addict Zebrafish to nicotine,” Paul’s report added.
But hooking marine life on harmful chemicals isn’t the only way the government's sending our money up in smoke. According to Paul’s office, the State Department spent nearly $85,000 on a statue of Bob Dylan for their embassy in Mozambique.
And, while American teachers struggle for adequate pay while math and literacy rates decline in public schools across the country, USAID was busy funneling $16 million in American tax dollars to Egypt to improve their educational system. They also spent $22 million helping Serbians develop better cheese for the international market, with initiatives including training 30 farmers on better production practices.
The government also spent half a million between 2003 and 2017 “maintaining a single self-cleaning toilet” at a metro station in D.C. -- the same federally-subsidized metro that's gained longstanding reputation for never running on time and, occasionally, catching on fire.
Then again, “OIG cannot definitively state how much was spent because Metro lost invoices for 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2014,” Paul’s report added.
Talk about flushing our money down the toilet.