Libertarians: Ten Stupid Ways Politicians Will Spend Tax Dollars

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:19pm EDT

( - The Libertarian Party used this tax deadline day to remind Americans about all the "ridiculous" ways that politicians will use to "squander" taxpayers' money.

Libertarian Party national director Steve Dasbach released the "Top 10 Most Ridiculous Things That Politicians Are Spending Your Money On This Year."

1. A retirement program for chimpanzees. Congress has created the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection Act (CHIMP), which will spend $45,000 per animal in 2001. "Proving that once again, politicians are making a monkey out of the taxpayer," Dasbach said.

2. Turning your (taxpayer) money into dung. Congress voted to give $4 million to the International Fertilizer Development Center for waste research.

3. Subsidizing politicians' erections. "Congress's health insurance program actually covers Viagra, which demonstrates that the worst case of electile dysfunction in the world can be found here in Washington," said Dasbach.

4. Paying teenagers not to have sex. An "emergency" spending provision in the 2001 military construction bill includes $20 million to pay for a teenage abstinence program.

5. A Dr. Seuss memorial. The HUD (Housing and Urban Development) bill contains $400,000 for a memorial to the author of "Green Eggs and Ham." Dasbach called it "a classic case of Pork-I-Am."

6. Spying on your e-mail. The FBI's Carnivore computer snoopware program threatens to take the bite out of your privacy and devour the Fourth Amendment.

7. Looking at you naked. U.S Customs officials at dozens of airports are now using the high-tech Bodysearch scanner, which can see body contours right through your clothes. "These X-rated X-rays have turned airport bureaucrats into peeping Toms and are stripping innocent Americans of their privacy," said Dasbach.

8. Subsidizing a bug lab. Republican (Senator) Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) stung taxpayers for $5 million when he inserted money into an agriculture bill to build an insect laboratory in his home state of Mississippi, which explains why Americans are bugged by high taxes.

9. Subsidizing religion. "President Bush's plan to funnel tax dollars to faith-based charities shows that what politicians really worship is Big Government," said Dasbach.

10. Urging fat people to walk. The Centers for Disease Control spent $14,900 to decorate a stairwell to encourage obese employees to walk, rather than take the elevator.

The Tax Foundation said Monday that Americans have to work from Jan. 1 to May 3 just to pay their federal, state and local taxes. Every year since 1992, the first day of "tax freedom" gets later and later.

"Since 1992, when Tax Freedom Day fell on April 18, the total tax burden has grown markedly," observed the Tax Foundation's Scott Moody, who attributes the growth to higher federal tax collections.

In 2001, Americans had to work an average of 50 days to pay income tax and another 29 days to pay Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.

Unfortunately for proponents of President Bush's pending $1.6 trillion tax cut package, the Tax Foundation reports that a one-time reduction in tax rates will only briefly halt Tax Freedom Day from advancing further into May.

"Because the federal tax system depends so much on the income tax, which is progressively designed, when you have strong economic growth like we've had the last ten years, people's real income tends to go up...and [they] are pushed into higher tax brackets," Moody explained.

Though income tax brackets are adjusted for inflation, they are not adjusted for annual growth in real income. "If you wanted to stop [bracket creep] in the long run, you would need to move to a flat rate system," or cut taxes every year, he said.

Midnight tonight is the deadline to file federal and state income taxes. Because April 15, the usual tax deadline, fell on a Sunday this year, the IRS extended the deadline by one day.

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