In the world of physics, the most important and useful experiments are conducted using a particle accelerator. You may have heard of CERN (currently the world's most powerful accelerator). This machine accelerates particles to near light speed and smashes them against each other, producing exotic new particles and insights into how our world works.
These machines are extremely complex and expensive. And in 1993, the United States did something utterly foolish. After already spending $2 Billion on what would become the world's most powerful particle acceleartor, the government canceled it due to high cost. The US had to spend roughly $6 billion more to see it completed.
Called the "Superconducting Supercollider", it would have been even more powerful than CERN and it would have gone live by the late 1990's. Right now we would have already discovered incredible new insights into physics and reality.
But Noooooo!!! The government couldn't spend $6 Billion on one of the most important scientific instruments in human history. And the population didn't really give a rat's ass about it.
Today, we find out taxpayers will probably lose $4 Billion in loans given to Chrysler. This is really small potatoes compared to the Trillions of tax dollars used to bail out the banks that got us into this mess in the first place.
But yet, the US government thought $6 billion was too much to help answer the most fundamental questions of the universe.