With Taxmageddon looming, it would be reassuring to know that our tax money is  at least going to worthy causes. Unfortunately, The Heritage Foundation’s recently released report, “Federal Spending by the Numbers 2012,” lists examples of extremely wasteful spending.

Here are five particularly egregious ways the government is misspending your money:

  1. A reality TV show in India. The Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program spends $200 million a year to help U.S. agricultural trade associations and cooperatives advertise their products in foreign markets. In 2011, it funded a reality TV show in India that advertised U.S. cotton.
  2. Studying pig poop. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $141,450 grant under the Clean Air Act to fund a Chinese study on swine manure and a $1.2 million grant to the United Nations for clean fuel promotion.
  3. Amtrak snacks. Federally subsidized Amtrak lost $84.5 million on its food and beverage services in 2011 and $833.8 million over the past 10 years. It has never broken even on these services.
  4. Using military exercises to boost biofuels. The U.S. Navy bought 450,000 gallons of biofuels for $12 million—or almost $27 per gallon—to conduct exercises to showcase the fuel and bring it closer toward commercialization. It is the largest biofuel purchase ever made by the government.
  5. Conferences for government employees. In 2008 and 2009 alone, the Department of Justice spent $121 million to host or participate in 1,832 conferences.

To read more about where your money goes, please click here.

Do you think your taxes should be increased to fund more programs like these?

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