In January an era will end when Tom Coburn (R-OK) will retire from the Senate. With him will go his Wastebook that details all of the egregious wasteful spending by a variety of government departments and agency.
Senator Coburn has sometimes seemed like a lone voice in Washington campaigning against those who waste the American taxpayers hard-earned money and he will be sorely missed.
For his Grand Finale Coburn and his staff have highlighted 100 government programs that they consider the most. Some are silly (other than the wasteful spending) others involve very serious misuses of government funds.
Here are some of the silly ones:
- $171,000 To Study How Monkeys Gamble. This gem was brought to us by researchers at the University of Rochester.
- $856,000 To Film Mountain Lions Running On Treadmills. If you liked the National Science Foundation’s hit film “Shrimp On A Treadmill”, you’re going to love its sequel.
- Synchronized Swimming For Sea Monkeys. This epic performance cost the American taxpayers a cool $50,000.
- Swedish Massages For Bunnies. Believe me, You can’t make this stuff up. This two-year study cost $387,000.
- Free Luxury Gym Memberships For Federal Bureaucrats. This program brings cutting out fat literally to our bureaucracy. Homeland Security spent $450,000 on this perk.
- $331,000 To Study Whether “Hangry” Spouses Are More Likely To Stab Voodoo Dolls. When spouses get “hangry,” they stab voodoo dolls representing their partners, according to a pricey study from the National Science Foundation.
- $18 Million To Renovate A Low-Traffic Airport That Serves A High-End Ski Resort. The airport for “Sun Valley ski resort that is a magnet for the rich and famous” is getting a multi-million dollar facelift courtesy of taxpayers.
- NIH Spent Over $800,000 To Make A Video Game About Food Fights. When NIH and the CDC complain about lack of funding for an Ebola vaccine why are they spending huge amounts of money on silly studies?
Coburn’s Wastebook claims that over $25 billion has been wasted on the 100 programs that are listed in his report. Some of the less silly waste includes the following:
- $19 million was wasted by bureaucrats gone wild. This covers some of the bureaucrats who were placed on administrative leave for bad behavior.
- $414,000 spent on a first-person shooter that the intelligence community worries could train terrorists.
- OPM Paid Contractor $124.3 for invalid Security Clearance Investigations. This past January, the Department of Justice (DOJ) accused U.S. Investigations Services of submitting 665,000 fake background investigations.166 As a result, hundreds of thousands of people who may not have been eligible for clearances were given access to top secret information.
- $146 million in subsidies for Sports Stadiums leave taxpayers holding the bill.
- $3 billion for Golf Club Testing and Elementary School experiments aboard the International Space Station.
- $44.5 million to maintain the “Launchpad to Nowhere” at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The tower will cost $840,000 a year to maintain. In addition NASA will spend another $43 million to maintain unused or outdated facilities.
- Exploding Claims of “Sleep Apnea” Threaten to Bankrupt VA Disability Program at a cost of $1.2 billion every year.
The list goes with wasteful spending in almost every government department. The problem is that no one has the political will to tackle this serious problem. Maybe President Obama should appoint Senator Coburn as “Waste Czar” with absolute power to fix this problem.
Here’s the link for Wastebook 2014.