For eight years running, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., has released an annual “Festivus Report” chronicling the billions of taxpayer dollars that the federal government wasted over the previous year.

Recently, Sen. Paul released his “2022 Festivus Report,” and a fair warning: it’s not pretty. According to the report, the senator has found $482,276,543,907 in government waste. It should be noted that $475,000,000,000 of the total included interest payments on the U.S. government’s ever-growing national debt, which as of publishing time stands at $31,345,957,007,436.98 (over $31 trillion).

Festivus is a fictitious secular holiday celebrated on December 23 and includes an “airing of grievances” made popular in 1997 by the television show Seinfeld.

After releasing his report, Sen. Paul tweeted that he celebrates Festivus to “have a little fun at the expense of Washington.”

“If we don’t laugh we might cry,” he said.

“I’ve got a LOT OF PROBLEMS with Washington, politics, and the one-party system that wants to keep us in endless wars and bankrupt us. The last few years have seen petty tyrants literally tripping over each other to win dumbest covid lockdown or mandate idea. Congratulations to Dr. Fauci though for always coming out on top there,” the senator wrote (emphasis in original).

In the report, the senator lists dozens of projects that the federal government wasted money on in the past year. These include:

  • $28,000,000 for camouflage uniforms that do not fit the Afghanistan environment.
  • $31,500,000 in COVID relief funds to purchase luxury cars.
  • $140,000,000 in COVID relief funds to build an 11,000 square foot spa.
  • $3,000,000 to watch hamsters fight on steroids.
  • $2,500,000 on Super Bowl commercials telling people to fill out the Census.
  • $2,300,000 to inject 6-month-old beagle puppies with cocaine.
  • $2,100,000 to encourage Ethiopians to wear shoes.
  • $1,100,000 to train mice to binge drink alcohol.
  • $689,222 to study the romance between parrots.
  • $519,828 to use mice to study racial aggression.
  • $187,500 to verify that kids love their pets.
  • $118,971 to research if Thanos could snap his fingers wearing the infinity gauntlet.

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute – that last one can’t be real, can it?”

Yes, it can be.

The reference to Thanos – a supervillain appearing in the Marvel Comics – and him snapping his fingers comes from the 2018 Marvel film Avengers: Infinity War.

According to the report, “Researchers at Georgia Tech convinced grant reviewers at the National Science Foundation … to give them $118,971 to study if a real-life Thanos could actually snap his fingers while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet.”

“The study ultimately determined wearing metal gloves while attempting to snap does not generate enough friction between one’s fingers to successfully create a snap. In their own words, ‘[o]ur results suggest that Thanos could not have snapped because of his metal armored fingers. So, it’s probably the Hollywood special effects, rather than actual physics, at play!’”

One wishes that it was monopoly money, rather than actual money, your money in fact, at play when it comes to the government’s funding of these wasteful programs and projects.

But alas.

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