DECEMBER 20, 2013
Wasteful spending by the bloated U.S. government is at an all-time high and a new congressional report outlines the senseless projects—including a global warming cartoon series—that the Obama administration blew nearly $30 billion on in 2013.
Published by a U.S. Senator who sits on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the report (“Wastebook 2013”) provides 100 shameful examples of how the government squanders our tax dollars. This includes an astounding $7 billion to destroy perfectly good military equipment and vehicles in the Middle East to avoid bringing it back, $379 million to promote Obamacare and $65 million in Hurricane Sandy “emergency” funds on television ads.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spent $3 million on a ridiculous research mission that will study how Congress works and an additional $390,000 on a cartoon series that teaches children about global warming. A press release announcing the wastebook sarcastically says that NASA won’t be exploring an alien planet or distant galaxy, but rather one of the greatest mysteries in the universe—how Congress works. It also pokes fun at the cartoon, saying that since NASA is no longer conducting space flights, the agency has plenty of time and money to fund the series.
In yet another egregious example of waste, the government doled out $3.5 million to install solar panels that are largely unused at an airport in New Hampshire. Immediately after the panels were installed, air traffic controllers determined that the glare blinded them as well as pilots. This made it difficult to oversee the runways so a chunk of the panels sit covered with a tarp in the airport’s parking garage.
Here are a few more good ones mentioned in the report; a federal agency called the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) dedicated nearly $1 million to explore romance in novels, films, songs and comics and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent $325,525 to research if marriage is more satisfying for wives who calm down faster after arguments with their husband. As if all this weren’t bad enough, the Wastebook reveals that the Islamic terrorist who carried out the Fort Hood massacre collected $52,952 in government pay in 2013.
“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 Tom Coburn, the U.S. Senator from Oklahoma who released the scathing report. “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.”
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