I know that the bounty guidelines state that bounties are not cancellable for any reason. This makes a lot of sense to me and it's a good default setting. But I'm thinking specifically about a situation I am facing on this question. The lone answer was posted before I started the bounty, and it does not address enough items for it to be worthy of collecting the bounty. However, no other responses have appeared.
In cases where the bounty fails to generate adequate answers due to total lack of responses, would it make sense to just cancel the bounty? I don't get to benefit unfairly by both having an adequate answer and also having my reputation refunded. Whereas if I can't cancel the bounty, I'm just facing a reputation loss as a consequence for trying to motivate interest in a question that community found uninteresting (for any reason).
Would it be easy to implement a cancellation option under the specific scenario that, after the bounty is created, no new answers to the question appear at all?
If not, what is the specific rationale in this case? Does the community want to penalize for not writing a question that, according to the preferences of other community members, is sufficiently interesting to merit effort on a response? Why wouldn't we just close those questions as not constructive and no reputation changes would take place?