Kids – worried that mom is paying more attention to Fido than she is to you? Well, it turns out the federal government is also interested in this issue – so interested they wasted almost $370,000 on a study to find out who mom loves more. In all, the National Health Institute gave scientists $371,026 to determine whether mothers have the same reaction when looking at photos of their dogs and their children according to retired Senator Coburn’s 2014 Wastebook.

As part of the study, researchers examined and compared brain patterns when mothers see photos of their dog and their children. They found “Mothers reported similar emotional ratings for their child and dog”. According to Senator Coburn’s Wastebook the grant money was intended to go towards “addiction research”, but this was clearly not the case.

This isn’t the first time NIH has wasted taxpayer dollars on bizarre and unnecessary studies. Over the years they have wasted $250,000 on a website showcasing the First Lady’s garden, $1.75 million on a “Hollywood Liaison”, and $325,525 on a study that found couples have happier marriages if they calmed down faster during arguments with their husbands.   

In today’s tight budgetary climate, it is unacceptable that NIH spends taxpayer dollars on such frivolous and comical studies. In fact, the NIH recently complained that budget cuts had delayed the development of an Ebola vaccine. Given they clearly fail to prioritize grant money, it is likely that extra funding would do little towards producing life-saving vaccines. 

Unfortunately for taxpayers, NIH’s wasteful spending doesn’t end there. Next, scientists hope to discover how men and women without children react to babies and pets.