5 Crazy Things Our Tax Dollars Have Paid For

Taxes are everywhere — federal income taxes, excise taxes, estate taxes, sales taxes, and payroll taxes are only a few off the laundry list we face throughout our lives. Taxes even help pay for the Internal Revenue Service, and we therefore pay taxes to help collect taxes.

But where does the rest of this money go? Well, over the past few years, we’ve been given the opportunity to go online and see a percentage breakdown of how our tax dollars are spent. We can see how much of our money went to defense, what portion went to healthcare, and what went to education, for instance.

The list we’re provided, although a helpful tool, is certainly not all-encompassing. Some of our tax money went to programs, grants, and initiatives that are so bizarre that we’d never expect taxpayer money to be allotted to these types of things. Here are a few places where our tax dollars went that are so crazy, it’s almost comical.

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1. The Duck Penis Grant

Yes, you read that correctly. “The project examine[d] how reproductive morphology covaries with season, age, and social environment in a diverse sample of duck species that differ in ecology, territoriality and breeding system,” reads the grant description published on CNS News

As a part of the stimulus, Yale University was awarded a grant for just shy of $385,000 to study duck genitalia and its plasticity. Why? It helped us better understand evolution. But the study was the subject of a great deal of scrutiny, as many considered this to be a waste of taxpayer money. What do you think?