Over the weekend I had a chance to peruse Sen. Tom Coburn’s Wastebook 2014, discovering some of the more outrageous ways the federal government found this year to squander our hard-earned tax dollars. Jaw-dropping.
As the report explains ~
Congress’ role is not just passing bills. It is also responsible for conducting oversight to hold the executive branch accountable, which it is failing to do. In fact, Congress actually forced federal agencies to waste billions of dollars for purely parochial, political purposes.
Mississippi lawmakers, for example, attached a rider to a larger bill requiring NASA to build a $350 million launch pad tower, which was moth balled as soon as it was completed because the rockets it was designed to test were scrapped years ago.
America’s founders expected the federal government – particularly the Legislative branch – to be good stewards of the peoples’ tax dollars and the country’s resources. Ha! Instead they make a mockery of that responsibility.
While the IRS was politically targeting Tea Party groups by putting the nonprofits under excessive scrutiny, the agency readily handed over $4 billion to identity thieves because it neglected to spot thousands of bogus tax returns.
The firm that gave the green light to grant security clearances to both notorious NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis, who shot and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, received another $124 million to conduct background checks the Department of Justice found to be fraudulent. As a result, thousands of ineligible individuals may now have access to top secret information [...]
The pleas for assistance from hundreds of families whose homes were damaged by the “storm of the century” in Austin, Texas, were ignored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which instead spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to help clean up local golf courses [...]
NASA no longer has the ability to send astronauts into space. The agency now pays Russia $70 million per passenger for a round trip fare to the international space station where the “design and creation of better golf clubs” is among the studies being conducted.
At least you can say this much for Congress: they’re some of the most creative spendthrifts you’ll ever find!
Wastebook details 100 specific examples of recklessly irresponsible stewardship. Here are several of the most outlandish ~
• $414,000 to develop technology that our enemies could easily access and use to thwart our military
• $124,300,000 paid for security clearance background checks by a company already known for a history of security failures and fraud allegations
• $146,000,000 to subsidize pro sports stadiums
• $10,000 to watch grass grow
(Seriously. Florida EPA is growing “cordgrass.”)
• $15,000 to promote a Colorado symphony performance that encouraged attendees to smoke dope
• $100,000 for coastline “party patrols”
(Apparently our borders are secure and we’re no longer concerned with drug smuggling, so the Coast Guard is tasked with protecting private shorelines of our elite ruling class.)
• $90,000,000 for international cultural exchange programs intended to “build cross-cultural bridges across the globe
Q. What’s the only thing the Department of Homeland Security excels at?
A. Wasting taxpayers money!
• $450,000 for free high-end gym memberships for DHS employees
• $35,000,000 for underused vehicle fleet
• $4,600,000 for over-priced temporary border patrol housing
• $1,980,000 wasted to continue funding obsolete sheep research
(much like the Left likes to encourage the dead to vote, fat cats in Congress like to fund dead research projects.)
• $392,000 to ponder extra-terrestrial communication
(We’re more concerned with the outlandish possibility of meeting ETs than we are with the illegal alien invasion on our southern border.)
• $16,000,000 to build an unwanted road through abandoned retail section of Fresno, CA
• $5,200,000 grant to Columbia University given, in part, to develop an interactive game to spur climate change activism.
• $202,291 in aid for golf courses instead of flood victims in TX – partisan use of FEMA funds
• $1,437,966 in surety bond guarantees for Disney World (Disney World!)
• $27,000,000 squandered by corrupt California slumlords
• $80,000,000 for DOD to build a real life “iron-man” suit for soldiers – results thus far are less than promising
• $7,600,000 for Virgin Island ferry boats – swamped by bureaucratic red tape
• $3,000,000 for official online presence of the U.S. government on social media sites, to counter the sophisticated propaganda machines of terrorist groups around the globe (If you can’t beat ‘em – tweet ‘em. Pathetic.)
• $200,000 for a museum instead of deteriorating roads
(In a time when the aging infrastructure is a growing national concern, the Department of Transportation (DOT) chose to allocate money to build a museum rather than repair roads and bridges.)
• $5,000,000 for useless healthy-eating awareness social media campaign aimed at college students (A total waste)
• $2,000,000 on a wooden skyscraper design contest
(Environmentalists tried to kill the logging industry – suddenly wood is the future?!)
• $965,000 for an unwanted, unneeded, unused icehouse in Louisiana
• $5,000,000,000 for inefficient administration of medicare prescription plans (that’s 5 Billion!)
• $157,000 allocated for rail transportation in Austin, TX instead being used to encourage taxpayers to pay more taxes, and;
• $181,000 for the same duplicity in Florida, for public transportation in Pinellas County
• $1,100,000 to NASA for lost electronics devices (hundreds monthly!)
• $3,000,000,000 for fraud and abuse in food stamp program (that’s 3 Billion!)
• $9,000,000 paid by DOD for helicopter parts –– at 16 times the going rate!
• $500,000 on butterfly “farming” in Oklahoma
• $55,000 to promote Hillary Clinton’s $14 million book in Europe
• $194,060 to research whether texting drunks will prevent more drinking
And finally, $30,000 to fund a study that posits that we may be on the verge of civilizational collapse.
Who needed $30,000? With profligate spending like this, it’s obvious that collapse is imminent. Especially with our national debt nearing… $18 trillion! (Check our Daniel Horowitz’ Obama: Debt Man Walking)
Unfortunately Tom Colburn is retiring from the Senate at the end of the year. His consistent voice for fiscal responsibility will be sorely missed. We desperately need others to step into the breach and keep us apprised of this annual immoral spendathon.