The following explains the rationale that is used to operate the Shrimp on a Treadmill Calculator.

Basic formula

  • p2  = [ (c * p1)/165 ] * 100 ;
  • pP  < = 30

Translation: Percentage is product of 100 times the quotient of the factor of the vileness category times the pricing bracket, divided by 165. Preferable percentage is at or below 30.

Definitions for sliding scales

There are two sliding scales to determine the SoaT rating of a government spending project.

  1. Vileness
  2. Cost

Vileness defines how morally wrong or unnecessary that allocation of taxpayer dollars is. There are super-tier groups to the eleven categories that define this sliding scale:

  1. Perfectly Understandable (1 and 2)
  2. Irritating, But Somewhat Forgivable (3 and 4)
  3. Immoral (5, 6, and 7)
  4. Abominable (8 and 9)
  5. Diabolical (10 and 11)

Cost measures in brackets approximately how much money a group of taxpayers is forced to pay for the given project. More on that below.

Dimension 1: Vileness

How indefensible the reason for spending is. A "1" means perfectly understandable uses of public money. The higher up this scale goes, the harder it is to justify use of public money for that type of project.

Category Title Example
1 Survival Military spending, actual needs of paralyzed war veterans, and protection of infrastructures and utilities.
2 Basics Tending to homeless, sick, and elderly needs; protecting basic services such as 911 dispatch, police, fire rescue, Social Security, retirement, etc.
3 Overregulation Arbitrary laws and mandates, economically counter-productive bureaucratic policies, overcriminalization.
4 Bureaucratic Redundancy Excess committees and redundant services all doing the same job as one another. Having three bureaus for the same job on a federal level, four more on a state level, and 15 more on a city level.
5 Vanity Government leaders building gratuitous legacies and shrines to themselves to feed their megalomania.
6 Witch Burning Misappropriation of public funds to engage in politics of personal destruction.
7 Shrimp on a Treadmill Allocation of funds to research what common sense should have made obvious, or what a private study could have determined for much less.
8 Vote Baiting Money spent on gimmicks, especially illegally, to gain votes from low-information voters.
9 Foolish Radicalism Globalism, energy / eco-hoaxes, Blame America First, socialized medicine, gratuitous / uncompensated war reconstruction, child sacrifice (abortion), the Sexual Revolution, etc.
10 Cronyism and Unjustified Handouts Subsidizing alien invasion via welfare abuse, picking winners and losers in the market, pandering to reverse-racists, extortion by any other name, robbing the middle class to fatten the special interests (that are already richer.)
11 Treason Borrowing money without consent of the governed from one enemy nation to prop the economy of another enemy nation "for free." Forever putting one nation in debt to another, while failing to help the third find any real, meaningful long-term solution to its problems.

Private sector goods factor

  • If there is no benefit of private sector goods being produced by the program, add 0.75 to category score before multiplying by 100.
  • If there is some benefit of PSG, then subtract 0.25 from the category score before multiplying by 100.

Dimension 2: Actual cost

How much is being spent, within certain brackets. Either one time or on a regular schedule.

  1. < $5,000
  2. $5,000 - $30k
  3. $30K - $100K
  4. $100K - $500K
  5. $500K - $1M
  6. $1M - $5M
  7. $5M - $10M
  8. $10M - $50M
  9. $50M - $100M
  10. $100M - $500M
  11. $500M - $1B
  12. $1B - $50B
  13. $50B - $500B
  14. $500B - $1T
  15. > $1T

How to use

To use the SoaT algorithm, merely multiply the vileness tier of a government spending project by the cost bracket. The product of these two factors divided by the highest product possible for the scale is the SoaT index rating for that government project. Values lower than 0.01 are automatically rounded up to 0.01, so that the end result score may be listed as a percentage.


  • Example 1: Shrimp running on treadmills "for science" (i.e., the NSF's self-interest) → Tier 7 x Bracket 3 = 21 / 165 = a SoaT rating of 13%.
  • Example 2: Obamacare → (Tier 9 + 0.75 ) x Bracket 15 = 135 / 165 = 89%, almost three times the amount of unjustifiability required by the scale to be deemed wasteful in the first place! That's like having three times the legal limit of alcohol in one's blood when caught driving drunk!
    • Giving money to Egypt while under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood ranks at 78%! The same goes for giving money to Libya. That's over 2-1/2 times the minimum requirement!
  • Lowest product possible: 1
    • Lowest possible score: 1%
  • Highest product possible: 165 (higher if 0.75 is added to Tier 11)
    • Highest possible score: 107% (if 0.75 is added to Tier 11)


  • Lower-scoring projects are wiser-all-around investments of taxpayer money by the government. Higher scores indicate horrific waste, corruption, mismanagement, and may even possibly indicate a diabolical agenda. See Hanlon's razor and Clark's/Grey's law for more information.
  • Projects that receive no federal funding, particularly those done by private firms receiving no federal funding, do not belong on this scale.
  • Scores above 30% should be a huge cause of concern for taxpayers.


The following is a chart of what the index can look like and what predictable results are without the +0.75 or -0.25 factors:


(Click to see full size.)

  • Values in blue are deemed "reasonable" spending for a government.
  • Values in green are deemed "slightly wasteful."
  • Values in yellow are "wasteful."
  • Values in orange are "extremely wasteful."
  • Items in red are "impeachable."

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