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Although the United States is $13 trillion in debt, mandatory spending alone exceeds tax revenues, and the Congressional Budget Office is warning of a coming U.S. “fiscal crisis,” Congress felt no need to trim spending. The just-adjourned 111th Congress headed by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi added more to the national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, has published his collection of the 100 most wasteful projects his colleagues deemed worthy of your hard-earned tax dollars this year. Among the most offensive, ridiculous, and startling examples of pork in the Year of our Lord 2010, he found:

  • Nearly $5,000 of stimulus money to hire goats to graze the weeds at Idaho’s Heyburn State Park;
  • $6 billion for ethanol subsidies, which raise food costs;
  • $177,000 for Ohio teachers to travel to China to learn about the Chinese “education” system;
  • $137,530 for a Dartmouth professor to develop “Layoff,” a video game that encourages its players to fire as many people as quickly as possible;
  • $700,000 for New Hampshire researchers to examine “greenhouse gas emission from organic dairies,” which are cause by “cow burps, among other things”;
  • $442,340 to study male prostitutes in Vietnam;
  • $823,000 to teach South African men how to wash their genitals after sex. (We reported this one earlier this year);
  • $55,000 to celebrate HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. Of course, there is no anti-AIDS vaccine, but the “observance is a day to recognize and thank” the professionals “who are working together to find” a cure;
  • $571 million — more than half-a-billion dollars — diverted from building roads and infrastructure to plant flowers on the roadsides;
  • $2.9 million to study how players of the online game World of Warcraft collaborate;
  • $5,000 for the Murfreesboro, Tennessee public library to host video game nights, featuring Rock Band, Wii Bowling, and Mario Kart;
  • $609,160 to develop a video game based on the life of a wolf;
  • $615,000 for the University of California-Santa Cruz to digitize Grateful Dead memorabilia;
  • $10,000 for the Woodstock Film Festival, attended by such elites as Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins, and Uma Thurman;
  • $150,000 for signs alerting drivers of crossing salamanders in Monkton, Vermont;
  • Nearly $1 million to post snippets of poetry at zoos;
  • $175 million for unused buildings, including an octagonal monkey house in Dayton, Ohio;
  • $239,100 to study how singles use online dating sites while they are lookin’ for love;
  • $31,350 for a comic book mouse who teaches children the history of printing;
  • $112 million in fraudulent tax refunds for prisoners;
  • $1.5 million for a museum in Shelby, North Carolina, to honor bluegrass banjo picker Earl Scruggs;
  • $60,000 to renovate a pizzeria in Waterloo, Iowa; and
  • $212,735 to study the state of “civility” in U.S. politics in Pullman, Washington. Liberals rediscover the virtues of “civility” every time a conservative criticizes a Democratic president.

These synopses hardly give their projects their proper due. Read about them, and 77 others, in the senator’s report. Download Sen. Coburn’s entire Wastebook 2010: A Guide to Some of the Most Wasteful Government Spending of 2010 here.

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