From Leaf Blowing Lizards to Studying Daydreaming, Rand Paul Fires Off Ways Your Tax Dollars Were Wasted in 2018

Like clockwork, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) released his annual Festivus Waste Report outlining all the ways your tax dollars went down the drain in 2018, from funding studies on daydreaming to paying for people to blow leaf blowers at lizards.

“Happy Festivus! Is 2018 over already? It was just yesterday the national debt was pushing $20 trillion, and now it’s blown $21 trillion away!” the senator cracked a joke in the opening of his report. “What a year!”

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Paul then aired his grievances with the federal government by highlighting $114,514,631 of “wasted money” in 2018:

  • Providing stipends to soldiers in the Somali National Army (State): $76,321,379
  • Promoting the already overcrowded farmers market industry (USDA): $13,400,000
  • Teaching Rwandan special interest groups and citizens how to lobby (State): $250,000
  • Using theater to combat homelessness and poverty (NEA): $15,000
  • Studying the sexual habits of quails on cocaine (NIH): $874,503
  • Funding a fictionalized opera about Prince Harry (NEA): $15,000
  • Making videos marketing U.S. colleges to Indian students (State): $75,000
  • Blowing leaf blowers at lizards (NSF): $75,691
  • Supporting “legislative priorities” in Libya (State): $1,000,000
  • Putting on plays in Afghanistan (State): $200,000
  • Studying horse and donkey hunting on the ancient Anatolian Peninsula (NSF): $361,891
  • Supporting Egyptian tourism (State): $18,000,000
  • Paying to bring British student social activists to the U.S. (State): $200,000
  • Encouraging people in the Republic of the Congo to use local resources (State): $35,000
  • Studying daydreaming (NIH): $2,488,153
  • Conceptualizing games in India (State): $50,000
  • Paying for museum trips in Bosnia & Herzegovina for Bosnians & Herzegovinians (State): $50,000
  • Developing a Pashto-language TV drama series for Afghanistan (State): $653,014
  • Teaching female entrepreneurs in India how to “vlog” (State): $50,000
  • Supporting asset seizure programs in Paraguay (State): $400,000

While Paul loves to call out waste, the fourth annual installment of his report included some new agenda items involving cruel and wasteful animal experiments, much to the pleasure of taxpayer watchdog White Coat Waste Project.

Anthony Bellotti, the group’s president, told IJR in a statement:

From blasting lizards with leaf blowers to hooking horny quails on cocaine, Senator Rand Paul’s Waste Report provides a crucial roadmap for identifying reckless federal programs that belong on the chopping block, including some of the $15 billion in tax dollars wasted on animal experiments each year. This annual catalog of boondoggles is one of the many reasons why we were proud to recognize Sen. Paul in 2017 with our Waste Warrior award.

In addition to the animal tests Paul outlined, Republican lawmakers have been stepping up to put an end to other animal experiments that several federal agencies conducted on the taxpayers’ dime.

Such tests include potentially illegal dog experiments at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and deadly kitten experiments at the Department of Agriculture (USDA).


  1. Wow, if this was a portfolio looked at by a loan officer, do you think it would be approved for a loan? You’d be laughed at and denied for wasting money.
    It’s ridiculous that anyone has to go to prison for not paying their taxes when our tax money is wasted and lost without these corrupt politicians batting an eye! God forbid we go without knowing how a bird has sex on cocaine does, we can’t even buy or use cocaine legally. How much you wanna make a bet that no money went to any of this?

  2. $76 million to Somali soldiers? That makes so much more sense than our national security! And then there was a group of Somali women ‘refugees’ who bilked the state child care program of millions which they sent to Somali terrorists. Here’s an idea: give that $76 million to American soldiers and veterans.

    1. Good idea supporting Americans rather than non-Americans. Way over the head of demoncraps though.

    1. McCain did “report” on government waste but don’t know if it was an annual thing.

  3. To know that as taxpayers we wasted money on cats and kittens experiments that were cruel and unusual punishment! Maybe the taxpayers should have a say before these disgusting people get their money!!!!

    1. gofundmethewall is for all Patriotic American citizens to get involved & become a part of History. Join, citizens against government waste & judicial watch. Do something instead of just posting on blogs.

  4. I think the people who do these experiments have got to be very sick. They have no feelings for other living things. It Must be stopped.

    1. You are probably alive today because of animal experimentation. Testing life saving drugs on animals is essential to the advancement of medical science. Always has been, always will be. These people do not experiment on animals because they enjoy it, but because they’re trying to save lives, human lives.

  5. Rather put my tax dollars toward the wall then experimentation on animals which I find morally reprehensible.

    1. gofundmethewall is for all Patriotic American citizens to get involved & become a part of History. Join, citizens against government waste & judicial watch. Do something instead of just posting on blogs.

  6. Get involved! Join, judicial watch, citizens against government waste & We can make a difference when we put in some effort!

    1. But it is such a small amount the drop would not even make a ripple in the border security pool.

  7. How about a $1.9 TRILLION tax giveaway to the rich and corporations (which primarily used the giveaway as stock buy-backs) of which only 4.4% ended up as actual bonuses or wage increases for workers? Not much of a trickle-down, that’s for sure.

    1. Ooops, apparently, that 4.4% figure is way wrong. According to government data, the actual hourly raise resulting from the tax cut was 2 cents. (Economic Policy Institute)

    2. Typical dumbocrat response that buys into Piglosi’s “crumbs” comment.

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