The fiscal cliff, sequestration, the government shutdown — Americans were told throughout each of these events that the United States government couldn’t handle the “devastating” financial side effects.

Spend, Spend, Spend: Here are Seven Odd Projects the Feds Have No Problem Spending Big Buck On

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And yet, according to the Federal Business Opportunities website, it looks like the federal government has found millions of dollars to award to projects that seem, on their face, highly questionable.

Take, for example, the $544,000 contract the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded for a new LinkedIn profile. Yes, LinkedIn, the social networking website ubiquitous among working professionals.

But that’s not all.

In fact, since the beginning of December, as noted by the Daily Mail, the U.S. government has greenlit more than 1,300 procurement contracts for pricey projects that include valet parking and containers for shipping fruit flies.

Here are just a few of the questionable, big money projects that have been awarded contracts since December, as listed by MailOnline:

7. LinkedIn — $544,338

The U.S. Department of Justice provided the Reston, Va.-based Carahsoft Technology Corporation with a list of desired LinkedIn services valued at approximately $0, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The $0 list is confusing when you consider the fact that the Justice Department contract clearly states that the department wants its LinkedIn profile to include “Work With Us” banner ads and so-called “gold level” pages, which are commonly used and paid for by private companies.

It’s even more confusing when you realize that $544,338 has been allotted to the project.

6. Parking — $450,000

A Palo Alto, Calif., Veteran’s Affairs health care facility has been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs a contract for roughly $450,000 for a valet parking project.

5. Copy machines — $252,000

The U.S. Department of Labor apparently has a problem with its copy machines, but not for long. Thanks to a $252,000 contract awarded to a Minneola, N.Y., company, the agency’s machines should soon be humming along with no problem.

4. Waste Not – $68,000

A contract for $68,000 has been approved by the Bureau of Prisons for disposable, biodegradable food trays for prison inmates.

3. Trash It — $791,000

A contract worth $791,000 has been awarded by the Treasury Department to have a contractor dispose of trash and recyclables at a facility in Texas.

2. It Flies — $284,000

The Department of Agriculture awarded a contract valued at more than $284,000 for an order of 5,400 boxes to ship fruit flies from one department facility to another.

“Each box consists of one (1) Fruit Fly Shipper, one (1) Fruit Fly Shipper Liner, two (2) Fruit Fly Scored Pads, two (2) Level Stands, two (2) Level Separators, and one (1) Top Level Separator,’ according to the contract,” the contract reads.

1. Big Ticket — $11 Million

The Environmental Protection Agency has set aside an $11 million outlay to have a private company publish its academic journal, the Environmental Health Perspective, according to the Daily Mail.

Brogan & Partners Advertising Consultancy is a firm that is supposedly an expert in social media marketing and they advertise themselves with the tagline: “More awesome, less suck.”

But here’s where it gets interesting.

“Environmental Health Perspectives was accused in 2012 of participating in a human-experimentation study that exposed 41 people to airborne particles that the EPA says can cause death just hours after exposure,” MailOnline reported. “One subject was taken to the hospital after experiencing (heart) trouble during the experiment.”

“The journal also caused a stir in 2012 when it published a widely mocked study claiming that fluoride in drinking water was poisoning children’s nervous systems,” the report added.

Click here to read more about the recent contracts.

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