Senator Tom Coburn produces an annual report, the “Wastebook”, outlining how much of YOUR tax dollars the government wastes each year. Every person who pays taxes should receive a copy of this report, it’s an eye-opener. Take a deep breath, sit down and prepare to be amazed. Listed below are the first 10 items noted in Senator Coburn’s report with a summary of each. This is not a joke, THESE ARE FOR REAL. There are a total of 100 items in the report, each more ridiculous than the next. If you’re feeling brave, click on the link below to go to Senator Coburn’s website and see a full explanation for each of the 100 items you’re paying for.
The Federal government is so bloated, mismanaged and fraught with fraud and corruption that one can only wonder why it’s taken us this long to come to the brink of bankruptcy.
1. The most unproductive and unpopular Congress in modern history does nothing while America struggles – (Congress) $132 million
Congress is “on pace to make history [for] the least productive legislative year” since 1947, with just 61 bills passed and made law in 2012 to date.4 “Even taking into account bills the House and Senate are expected to pass in the upcoming lame-duck session, the current Congress could easily have the lowest level of legislative activity since statistics began being tabulated,” according to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.
2. Professional sports loophole – (Taxes) $91 million
The National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) classify themselves as non-profit organizations to exempt themselves from federal income taxes on earnings. Smaller sports leagues, such as the National Lacrosse League, are also using the tax status.
3. OH SNAP! Junk food, luxury drinks, soap operas, and billions of dollars in improper food stamp payments – (Department of Agriculture) $4.5 billion
Starbucks drinks, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, soap operas, and alcohol were all purchased this year with federal food stamp funds. In Tennessee, food stamps paid for beer, diapers, and condoms. In three states, some individuals received more food stamp benefits simply because they smoke marijuana.
4. Oklahoma keeps unused airport open to collect federal checks – (OK) $450,000
The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) voted this year to keep a rarely used Lake Murray State Park Airport open simply to land more federal funds. The airport averages just one flight per month, has no planes based there, and is situated mere miles from two more heavily used airports.
5. Moroccan pottery classes – (U.S. Agency for International Development) $27 million
In 2009, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) began pursuing a four-year plan to improve the economic competitiveness of Morocco. A review by the agency’s Inspector General (IG) found the $27-million project “was not on track to achieve its goals.”
6. Out-of-this-world Martian food tasting – (HI) $947,000
That is the goal of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Advanced Food Technology Project, which has already developed a recipe for pizza and about 100 other foods that could be served some day on Mars.
7. When robot squirrels attack – (CA) $325,000
Researchers at San Diego State University and the University of California (Davis) spent a portion of a $325,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to construct a robotic squirrel named “RoboSquirrel” to answer that question.
8. USDA’s caviar dreams – (ID) $300,000
Many Americans are finding it difficult to afford to put just the basics on their family’s dinner table. Yet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) spent $300,000 this year to promote caviar.
9. Bailed out tourist boat sinking private business – (AK) $3.3 million
Over $9 million in federal money was earmarked to a failing for-profit ferry verging on bankruptcy, which very few people benefited from and a small town in Alaska did not want. To make matters worse, this project is threatening the economic health of once vibrant local tour and ferry operator businesses.
10. Phantom, unused grant accounts draw fees – (Department of Health and Human Services) $2 million
The government pays as much as $2 million annually in monthly service fees to maintain about 28,000 phantom grant accounts that are empty and have expired.