U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today released his annual oversight report “Wastebook 2013” highlighting 100 examples of wasteful and low-priority spending totaling nearly $30 billion.
“While politicians in Washington spent much of 2013 complaining about sequestration’s impact on domestic programs and our national defense, we still managed to provide benefits to the Fort Hood shooter, study romance novels, help the State Department buy Facebook fans and even help NASA study Congress,” said Dr. Coburn.
“Had Congress, in particular, been focused on doing its job of setting priorities and cutting the kind of wasteful spending outlined in this report, we could have avoided both a government shutdown and a flawed budget deal that was designed to avert a shutdown. The nearly $30 billion in questionable and lower-priority spending in Wastebook 2013 is a small fraction of the more than $200 billion we throw away every year through fraud, waste, duplication and mismanagement. There is more than enough stupidity and incompetence in government to allow us to live well below the budget caps. What’s lacking is the common sense and courage in Washington to make those choices – and passage of fiscally-responsible spending bills – possible,” said Dr. Coburn.
“This report speaks volumes about why confidence in government is at an all-time low. The hard truth is we’d much rather borrow than cut. The American people are right to expect more,” said Dr. Coburn.
Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2013” include:
The Popular Romance Project has received nearly $1 million from the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) since 2010 to “explore the fascinating, often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance as told in novels, films, comics, advice books, songs, and internet fan fiction, taking a global perspective—while looking back across time as far as the ancient Greeks.”
As the U.S. war effort in the Middle East winds to a close, the military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of useable vehicles and other military equipment. The military has decided that it will simply destroy more than $7 billion worth of equipment rather than sell it or ship it back home.
With nearly half-a-billion dollars in government funding put behind promoting a product that relatively few people seem interested in purchasing off a website that doesn’t work, Obamacare is perhaps the biggest marketing flop since Coca-Cola introduced the world to “New Coke” in 1985.
If your wife is angry at you and you don’t want her to stay that way, you might avoid passing along the findings of this government study. Wives would find marriage more satisfying if they could calm down faster during arguments with their husbands, according to government-funded research.
While the families of the survivors and victims were fighting to receive military benefits, the Fort Hood shooter Major Nadal Hasan was cashing his paycheck. Since the shooting, Hasan has received over $278,000 in military benefits because the Military Code of Justice doesn’t allow a soldier to be suspended until they are found guilty.
One of NASA’s next research missions won’t be exploring an alien planet or distant galaxy. Instead, the space agency is spending $3 million to go to Washington, D.C. and study one of the greatest mysteries in the universe—how Congress works.
In January 2013, Congress passed a bill to provide $60.4 billion for the areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy. However, instead of rushing aid to the people who need it most, state-level officials in New York and New Jersey spent the money on tourism-related TV advertisements.
When officials at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire installed new solar panels, they did not anticipate one quarter of them would not be used 18 months later. In Spring 2012, the panels were placed on top of the airport’s parking garage, and 25 percent have remained there, covered with a tarp, rendering them useless. Problems with the new panels were noticed almost immediately by air traffic controllers who claimed that for 45 minutes each day, glare made it difficult to oversee the airport’s runways.
A grant from NSF went to a company in North Carolina to develop a math learning game based on the zombie apocalypse.
Since NASA is no longer conducting space flights, they have plenty of time and money to fund a YouTube TV show and cartoon series called “Green Ninja” in which a man dressed in a Green Ninja costume teaches children about global warming.\
Defense-related waste here.
Tax-related waste here.
Shut the worthless government down. Return power back to the states. If we don't USA WILL NOT SURVIVE.
And yet, despite the yearly release of egregious spending accounts, congress still does nothing. So what use is this information other than making people mad?
Senator Coburn's annual report on government waste is important. But, what is so different this year compared to most years. Government's job" is to waste money and to support pork barrel spending in their districts. Or, to spend money allocated so their budget isn't cut for the following year. So Senator Coburn complains but what gets done. I would be more excited if he told us what actions he and the Senate took to reduce the wasted money from 2012. Leadership to raise enough awareness that the People demand action and changes is needed.
And THEY WANT TO MANAGE OUR LIVES???????
TOTALLY "UNBELIEVABLE" AT THE STUPIDITY OF OUR GOVERNMENT!
You, Mr. Coburn, are wasting our time and quite frankly of nothing more that raising my blood pressure. Why are you not out exposing all of the jerks who are supporting this crap. When you start doing that then I'll take you serious.
If someone starts talking about Healthcare like Obama wants us to, print this out and change the discussion to this,