Talk about outrageouse Waste, Fraud and Abuse: our nation is burdened by a $16,000,000,000.000 (TRILLION) debt yet our government keeps spending money on irrelevant projects and does nothing to stop it. A commenter on the below Washington Times article said it best:
“The foolish waste reported in this article is only the tip of the iceburg. Few or perhaps none in government want to admit the truth. If all unnecessary spending was eliminated at current tax rates the government might even have a surplus. The pain of the cuts would hardly hurt anyone. When members of the Administration and members of Congress mention cuts they always talk of cutting where the pain is greatest, a game that has been played for years to entice citizens to accept higher taxes. Will we ever see statemen with enough desire and courage to force corrections in our government? Not likely. Too many enjoy the great life and the easy come, easy go of hard earned taxpayer dollars.”
The Senate’s top waste-watcher says the federal government is bloated with extra spending — including in the halls of Congress itself, where he says senators and staffers are collecting salaries while failing to do very much work.
Twenty senators haven’t had a single amendment considered on the chamber floor this year, and some of the most powerful committees have all but taken the year off, said Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican.
The damning critique of his colleagues is part of Mr. Coburn’s “Wastebook 2012,” the latest installment in what has become an annual list of 100 curious federal spending decisions that Congress and federal agencies make each year. The book will be released Tuesday.
Making the 2012 list are:
- $1.5 million grant to the University of Utah to study building a better computer gaming joystick
- $100,000 to send a three-member American comedy troupe on a tour of India
- $325,000 grant used to build a robotic squirrel, all to test whether it could scare a real snake
- The National Institutes of Health spent $939,771 on a study to discover that a male fruit fly, given the choice between a young female and an older female fly, chose the younger. . . . [Read More]
Coburn Releases Annual Report Highlighting Some of the Most Wasteful Government Spending in 2012 (Senator Tom Coburn press release)
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new oversight report, “Wastebook 2012” that highlights more than $18 billion in examples of some of the most egregious ways your taxpayer dollars were wasted in 2012.
This report highlights 100 of the year’s countless unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects spread throughout the federal government.
“The problem in Washington is politicians are very specific about what we should fund but not specific about what we should cut. As a result, we are chasing robotic squirrels and countless other low-priority projects over a fiscal cliff,” said Dr. Coburn.
“This report also exposes the folly of across-the-board-cuts or sequestration. There is no question we can find hundreds of billion dollars of waste in our budget. Yet, by not going through the budget line by line and setting priorities we are protecting ridiculous programs like caviar promotion and climate change musicals while cutting vital programs.”
“Until Congress has the guts to cut specific programs we will never get our debt under control. As these examples illustrate, it is not nearly as hard to make those choices as many politicians claim. Instead of spending federal dollars to help golfers imagine a smaller hole we should be trying to shrink the hole in our budget,” Dr. Coburn said.
Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2012” include:
• Tax loopholes for the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) – professional sports leagues that generate billions of dollars annually in profits ($91 million in taxes)
• Moroccan pottery classes (part of a $27 million grant from U.S. Agency for International Development)
• Efforts to promote caviar consumption and production ($300,000)
• Robotic squirrel named “RoboSquirrel” (part of a $325,000 grant from the National Science Foundation)
• Promotion of specialty shampoo and other beauty products for cats and dogs ($505,000)
• Corporate welfare for the world’s largest snack food producer, PepsiCo Inc. ($1.3 million)
• Government-funded study on how golfers might benefit from using their imagination, envisioning the hole is bigger than it actually is ($350,000)
• “Prom Week,” a video game that allows taxpayers to relive prom night ($516,000)
• Oklahoma’s layover boondoggle, a scarcely used airport in Oklahoma receiving nearly half-a-million in taxpayer dollars only to transfer funds elsewhere in the state ($450,000)
• The 2012 Alabama Watermelon Queen tour paid for in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “to promote the consumption of Alabama’s watermelon through appearances of the Alabama Watermelon Queen at various events and locations” ($25,000)
Read the full report: here
View a complete list and summary of Wastebook 2012 projects: here
Flip through the “Wastebook Storybook” for highlights: here