Your Government at Work

When people discuss government waste the topics of extravagant dinners, vacations, lifetime healthcare for politicians, etc. usually come up. However the topic of law enforcement doesn’t come up nearly enough. Truth be told federal law enforcement agents are some of the biggest wasters of tax victim money out there. Consider the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). One minute it’s creating terrorists for it to stop and the next minute it’s investing years into studying the lyrics of a song with several other alphabet soup agencies:

You know the song. You also know the lyrics are completely indecipherable. However, with Ely’s death, there’s been renewed attention to the fact that the FBI spent nearly two years investigating the damn song. It is just as ridiculous as it sounds, but the FBI has released the file on its investigation and it’s a rather hilarious read. It turns out it wasn’t just the FBI, but involved the FCC and the Post Office:

Apparently people reported that the song Louis Louis was obscene so the federal government decided it need to investigate just in case it had to stop down some free speech. But it gets better. Wasting money of fruitless investigations isn’t the only way the FBI has to waste money. Failing to call up other government agencies that could actually solve the investigation immediately is another way it likes to waste money:

Also, as Marc Randazza notes, it took nearly two years for someone in the FBI to think, hey, isn’t the song registered at the Copyright Office down the street? Maybe we should send someone over there to find out what it says? This was after the FBI had reached out to the record label (who gave them the accurate lyrics) along with the original author of the song, Richard Berry, who told them the lyrics.

Government waste comes in many forms and a lot of those forms have to do with enforcing victimless “crimes”. Even if the lyrics of Louie Louie were obscene no crime was committed because offensive lyrics don’t harm anybody.