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$17 DEBT U.S. Senator
Tom Coburn, M.D.
Wastebook 2013
Table Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................ Paid Nothing (Government wide) least $400 million .............................................. Bird. Plane. Superman! (National Guard) $10 million .................................. Uncle Sam Looking for Romance the Web (NEH) $914,000 .............................................7 Obama Administration Studies American Attitudes Towards Filibuster Senate
Majority Leader Eliminates the Longstanding Senate Right Debate (MO) $251,525 Beachfront Boondoggle: Taxpayer the Hook for Paradise Island Homes (HI) $500
million ......................................................................................................................................................... Pimping the Tax Code (NV) $17.5 million ................................................................................... Mass Destruction Weapons (DoD) billion ....................................................................... Let Google That for You: National Technical Information Service (Department
Commerce) $50 million .........................................................................................................................16 Millions Spent Building, Promoting Insurance Plan Few Want and Website that
Doesn Work (Department Health and Human Services) least $379 million ........
10. Cost Unused Mega-Blimp Goes Up, and Away (Army) $297 Million ....................
Wastebook 2013
Washington has reversed the wisdom the old clich that less needed when less wasted. Every
branch government bickered this year over the need spend more (while continuing misspend)
with attitude waste more, want more! 
Confronted with self-imposed budget cuts necessary trim years trillion dollar shortfalls,
Washington protested that could not live within its means. attempted take hostage the
symbols America exact ransom from taxpayers. Public tours the White House were canceled
and Medicare payments for seniors health care were cut.
While the President and his cabinet issued dire
warnings about the cataclysmic impacts
sequestration, taxpayers were not alerted all the waste being spared from the budget axe.
The Department Defense (DOD) developed
plan this year constrain pay and benefits for
our brave men and women uniform, who risk
their lives protect from terrorists,1 for
example, while the same time continuing
pay the salary and other government benefits
for the Fort Hood shooter,2 responsible for the
worst terrorist attack American soil since 911.3
DOD grounded the Air Force Thunderbirds and
Navy Blue Angels,4 yet still spent $432 million construct aircraft they never intend fly.5
The Army National Guard spent $10 million Superman movie tie-ins while plans were being made cut the strength the Guard 8,000 soldiers, the real supermen and women who fight for truth,
justice and the American way. the Smithsonian was closing exhibits its world renowned museums,6 the federal government
was funding the creation play zones the National Museum Play, inventory toys the
Denver Museum Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, and website celebrating romance novels.
The U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) cut housing assistance for the disabled elderly while
subsidizing thousands risky mortgages, including more than 100 homes (that cost excess halfa-million dollars each) within walking distance the ocean Hawaii. And while nutrition
assistance was being reduced for many needy families, USDA was spending money celebrity chef
cooks-offs and running the taxpayer tab Bloody Marys, sweet potato vodka, and red wine
tastings from here China.
The Department Interior was counting sheep with high-tech unmanned aerial drones7 after delaying
the opening some national landmarks and closing others early.
Wastebook 2013
This lack common sense was only accentuated October when the government shut down, part
because Congress failed approve even one regular appropriations bill. Agency heads were forced
decide what constituted essential and nonessential activities. result, veterans memorials were
locked down and closed signs were put up. similar dramatic notice was given the government
boondoggles that continued waste taxpayer money.
NASA ultimately paid more than 17,700 employees percent its staff nothing for days result the shutdown.8 These hardworking employees, caught factors outside their control,
should not confused with the pillownauts the space agency hired lie around bed and
nothing for days.9
Even the government shutdown could not shut down Obamacare, but the failure its $319 million
website nearly did.10 Millions dollars more were spent urge taxpayers visit the website that
did not work whiskey festivals and with ads featuring Elvis impersonators. Yet, even the
hundreds thousands who had their plans canceled struggled sign for the plans they did not
want the first place. least one dog was able enroll, however.
And just days before the impending shutdown, when much Washington was bracing for
protracted closure most government offices and activities, USDA decided celebrate Christmas
early funding six Christmas trees projects and the spirit holiday cheer different wine
initiatives, including the creation two smart phone apps help navigate the next winery. 
These are only few the 100 examples government mismanagement and stupidity included
Wastebook 2013. Collectively these cost nearly $30 billion year when Washington would have you
believe everything that could done has been done control unnecessary spending. Had just these
100 been eliminated, the sequester amount would have been reduced nearly third without any
noticeable disruption. you glance each the entries presented this report, place your personal political
persuasion aside and ask yourself: each these represent real national priority that should spared from budget cuts are these excesses that should have been eliminated order
spare deeper cuts those services and missions that should performed the federal
When comes spending your money, those Washington tend see waste, speak waste,
and cut waste.
Tom Coburn, M.D.
U.S. Senator
Wastebook 2013 Paid Nothing (Government wide) least $400 million
The first session the 113th Congress will likely down the least productive history, more
notable for what did not than what did. mere laws were enacted, budget could
agreed upon, and not single regular appropriations bill fund government operations passed
time, resulting, part, day government wide shutdown October. Through all Congress
was paid. And eventually, were all the other federal employees, including many deemed nonessential and therefore not permitted report work.
The White House estimates cost billion provide back pay federal employees for services
that could not performed during the shutdown. Total compensation costs, including benefits, are
about percent larger, the range $2.5 billion. course, not the fault employees who are non-essential, formally deemed non-exempt, for
the failure Congress its job.
More than 100,000 federal employees being paid salary least $100,000 were furloughed
non-essential. Each these were paid $4,000 for the time off work during the shutdown.
Again, not the fault these civil servants that Congress did not its job and, like everyone else,
they have bills pay. But truly unfair charge
billions dollars pay others not work
taxpayers working cover their own bills and the
bills the government. This especially true when
the non-essential federal employee being
compensated more than twice the average U.S. family
income $51,000.13 sampling just three federal agencies found more
than 35,500 federal employees earning $100,000
more who were furloughed for performing nonessential duties (and then paid for not performing
those duties).
The Department Treasury furloughed 21,751 nonexcepted/non-essential employees with annual
salary $100,000.00 more during the government
More than 100,000 federal employees being paid shutdown. This adds nearly $84 million spent
salary least $100,000 were deemed nonto pay just these employees nothing. Meanwhile,
essential and not required work during the
the Administration furloughed non-essential nearly
government shutdown.
all the Treasury Department Office Foreign
Asset Control (OFAC), which implements the U.S. government financial sanctions against countries
such Iran and Syria. And while taxpayers continued file returns and make payments during
the shutdown, they could not receive assistance from the IRS.16
 During the shutdown the federal government October 2013, the Department Veterans Affairs
furloughed 1,406 employees who are paid annual salary $100,000 more (356 the Office
Information Technology, 832 the Veterans Benefits Administration, and 218 the Office the
Inspector General). This means $5.6 million was spent pay $4,000 more each the
Wastebook 2013
employees for not performing any duties. Over this same period, some services veterans were halted curtailed and progress reduce the veterans disability claims backlog was stalled.18
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) deemed non-essential and furloughed
approximately 12,300 employees earning annual salary $100,000 more during the government
shutdown.19 The cost pay these employees for paid vacation days exceeded $47 million. these three agencies alone, more than $135 million was spent pay employees with salaries
exceeding $100,000 nothing for two weeks. With departments and least independent
agencies within the executive branch, more than 100,000 federal employees earning $100,000 more
were likely furloughed and paid nothing, costing taxpayers $400 million. This one-fifth the
total back pay for furloughed non-essential federal employees.
Many who perform what most consider essential occupations earn average far less than
$100,000. full-time public school teacher, for example, paid about $56,000 year.20 registered
nurse compensated about $68,000 year.21 And police officer paid about $58,000 year.22 least six state governors are also paid less than $100,000, including the chief executives Arizona,
Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Maine, and Oregon.23
Any federal employee collecting annual salary $100,000 more should performing essential
work and considered exempt from furlough during government shutdown. Likewise, Congress,
which expected perform essential work, should not paid when fails pass annual budget required law.
Wastebook 2013 Bird. Plane. Superman! (National Guard) $10 million
Sequestration, the across-the-board spending cuts
agreed Congress and the President, will reduce
the strength the Army National Guard more
than 8,000 soldiers. perhaps shouldn
surprising that the face these cuts, the National
Guard turning Superman for help.
Faster than speeding bullet, more powerful than
locomotive, able leap tall buildings single
bound, not even the menacing threats sequester government shutdown could furlough the caped
crusader and his fight for truth, justice, and the
American way.
The real super men and women fighting for truth,
justice, and the American way don wear red capes.
This year, the Army National Guard teamed with Superman $10 million Soldier Steel 
promotional campaign, intended increase awareness and consideration service opportunities
the National Guard. The recruitment ads dovetailed with the release the Warner Bros.
blockbuster movie, Man Steel, the latest Superman movie and, strangely enough, with
downsizing the National Guard.
 The centerpiece this awareness campaign were two theater spots airing percent theater
screens nationwide, according the National Guard. Signs and video monitors were placed
more than 1,500 theaters and
supporting elements included in-gym
networks ads, ads placed with targeted
high school magazines/websites, and
online/mobile/video ads.
The promotional campaign also included
online video games, series work
out and fitness videos, and sports cars
design wraps. Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove
the National Guard Man Steel 
Chevrolet June 16th the
Michigan International Speedway.
Players crack the codes, pilot the experimental helicopter and test
Panther Racing No. National Guard
your aim the firing range with prototype weaponry part
Chevrolet IndyCar was repainted blue
the Army National Guard Soldier Steel video game.
and red with Superman iconic 
placed prominently the nose the car for the 97th Running the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race
part the National Guard Soldier Steel recruiting campaign.
Theater and social media placement for the Superman tie-in recruitment campaign cost the Army
National Guard million for development, and production cost another million. These costs
not include the motorsport car wraps because the cars were already partnering with the National
Wastebook 2013 addition taxpayer cash, the Man Steel collected more than $160 million from over 100 other
promotional tie-ins. The movie itself, Superman: Man Steel has grossed over $662 million worldwide date and will earn more with its DVD release.
The Army National Guard budget did not fare well Superman result the spending
restraints imposed the Budget Control Act 2011, the Army may have reduce least 100,000
additional personnel across the Total Force the Active Army, the Army National Guard and the
Army Reserve. When coupled with previously planned cuts end strength, the Army could lose
200,000 soldiers over the next ten years, according Army leadership.
Yet, the Army still spent $10 million subsidize the promotion Superman with the hopes enlisting
new recruits. This money could
have been better spent the real
life supermen and superwomen
the Army National Guard who are
courageously risking all the
fight for truth, justice, and the
American way. Superman flies away with
massive profits from sponsors and
ticket sales and the force size and
budget the Army National
Guard shrinks, the U.S. national
debt continues up, and car the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race was repainted blue and red with
Superman iconic the nose part the National Guard Soldier
Steel recruiting campaign.
Wastebook 2013 Uncle Sam Looking for Romance the Web (NEH) $914,000
More and more people are looking for love online and now Uncle Sam paying make the web
little more romantic.
The Popular Romance
Project has received nearly million from the National
Endowment the
Humanities (NEH) since
2010 explore the
fascinating, often
contradictory origins and
influences popular
romance told novels,
films, comics, advice books,
songs, and internet fan
fiction, taking global
perspective while looking
back across time far the
ancient Greeks.
The Popular Romance Project has received nearly million from the federal
addition the funds
government since 2010 promote romance novels, which may leave many
provided NEH,
taxpayers feeling jilted for subsiding industry that generates over billion
the Library Congress
Center for the Book also participant the project.
According the Popular Romance Project, with this funding, will develop expanded
website including hundreds new video interviews and blog posts, games that explore branding
and marketing, and archival materials well mobile version.
 Taking love and its stories seriously, wherever they may found, the Popular Romance Project will
spark lively, thoughtful conversation between fans, authors, scholars, and the general public about
the writing, production, and consumption popular romance, including its history and
transformation the digital age.
The Popular Romance Project aims bring new audiences into the conversation about the nature
love, romance, and their expression novels and popular culture more broadly through four
programs: documentary entitled Love Between the Covers interactive website dedicated romance and romance novels; academic symposium the past and future the romance novel hosted
the Library Congress Center for the Book; and nationwide series library programs dealing with the past, present, and future the
romance novel with traveling exhibit.
Wastebook 2013
Some the recent website topics include:
Team Edward Team Jacob? Are heroes like Edward romantic controlling? ponders
the Popular Romance Project website, referring the vampire character the Twilight.
Call Maybe: The Popular Romance Project website celebrates Carly Rae Jepsen hit
song Call Maybe fun, flirty invitation dreamy crush and examines how the
song video has provokes some very interesting conversations about contemporary
The Spy Who Loved Me: The romance British Secret Service Agent James Bond, 007,
examined the Popular Romance Project website, noting that the recurrent death
romance fundamental the 007 franchise. What can popular romance scholars make
this motif?
While supporters note that some ways, romance novels are the dirty little secret the literary
world and largely ignored mainstream critics, regularly maligned academics, and sometimes
hidden away even their readers, they hope this project will change that impression all with the
assistance the federal government. addition the NEH financial aid, the Library Congress
planning symposium explore the past and future the romance novel form, scheduled coincide
with the release the Love Between the
Covers documentary around Valentine
Day 2015.
NEH has invested nearly million this
project over the past three years.
September, NEH issued $250,000 grant
for the production interactive,
multifaceted website that would serve
anchor for the Popular Romance Project,
multimedia project the writing,
production, and consumption popular
romance literature. Last October, NEH
provided $616,000 for the production
two-hour documentary about the history
and context the romance novel and the
global community built around massproduced popular cultural product
spent this year and next. 2010, NEH
awarded two year grant totaling $48,000
for the planning and scripting for film, symposium, and reading and discussion programs how
romance literature reflects universal themes courtship, love, and intimacy well travel
conferences about romance novels.
 Are heroes like Edward romantic controlling? one the
many topics related love and romance the Popular Romance
Project website explores.
NEH may love waste money this project, but taxpayers are likely feel jilted about subsidizing
the promotion billion dollar industry that generated over $1.4 billion 2012, and remains hot ever.
Wastebook 2013 Obama Administration Studies American Attitudes Towards Filibuster
Senate Majority Leader Eliminates the Longstanding Senate Right Debate
 (MO) $251,525
What makes the world greatest deliberative body
deliberative? until last month, every member the U.S. Senate had the
right speak for long she wished, even doing
delayed votes other business.
The iconic 1939 movie Mr. Smith Goes Washington dramatized
the power the filibuster influence public opinion
utilizing unlimited debate bring truths light.
While the majority often grumbles that the filibuster nothing
more than obstructionist tactic, one that has long been
utilized force open debate, improve legislation, bring
consensus, and even halt legislation nominations.
designed, only supermajority could cut off deliberations
invoking cloture, after which additional hours debate
time still remained, thereby empowering any senator
viewpoint heard.
The classic American movie Mr. Smith Goes Washington dramatized the power the
filibuster influence public opinion
While control the Senate and the White House has changed
utilizing unlimited debate bring truths
over the past decade, opinion polls during this period have
consistently indicated there overwhelming desire from the light. Today Senate majority would
essentially tell Mr. Smith shut and
public eliminate the filibuster.
sit down. The Obama Administration
spending quarter-of-a-million dollars
But November, the Senate Majority Leader broke the
examine the public opinion the
longstanding rules the Senate that require votes change parliamentary tactic, which the President
these procedures and killed the filibuster with bare majority supports eliminating, while cutting off other senators. The filibuster was eliminated for
federal support for hundreds scientific
consideration most presidential nominations requiring Senate proposals.
confirmation, thereby eliminating the ability the Senate
minority filibuster executive branch nominees and any judgeship below the Supreme Court. The
Senate Majority Leader has since hinted that some point the filibuster may end entirely, and not
just for nominations, but also for legislation. stated the leader the Senate decides that what
they want do, then they can have vote before the full Senate and decide that what they want
do. noted the Senate democratic body; always has been. work collegiality just like
judges do. But there comes time when collegiality breaks down and you have something.
While the Majority Leader believes democratic end this longstanding right all senators,
majority voters feels the opposite. Quinnipiac University conducted two polls recent years
the subject and both found lack majority support for killing the filibuster. Most Americans
believed would bad idea eliminate the filibuster. Another poll found the lack support
for ending the filibuster statistically unchanged, with just percent saying would good idea.
Wastebook 2013
When George Bush was president and Republicans held majority the Senate 2005,
percent favored eliminating the filibuster.
Regardless what party controlled the White House the Senate, the public has never rallied end
the filibuster.
 There groundswell support for changing the filibuster rule, notes Peter Brown, assistant
director the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The point this, however, not dispute the merits the filibuster actions the Majority
Leader; rather, debate the necessity spend federal funds gauge Americans attitudes
towards the parliamentary procedure.
The Obama Administration, which supported the move end the filibuster, spending more than
quarter-of-a-million dollars out the budget the National Science Foundation (NSF) study
 attitudes toward the Senate filibuster among the American public.
Researchers Washington University St. Louis received $251,525 NSF grant for the project,
which now its fourth year.
According NSF, this research examines public attitudes about majority rule and minority rights
the United States. does focusing public views about prominent legislative battles involving
the Senate filibuster extended debate intended prevent vote. The Senate cloture rule provides
that three-fifths majority elected senators required close debate and move vote
motion, rule that allows large minority prevent majority action. This study exploits existing
survey panel assess the public views majority rule and minority rights both the abstract and response major legislative episodes. The study examines the effect abstract views majority
rule, minority rights, and the filibuster, policy preferences, party preferences and other factors such
political sophistication and education evaluations legislative outcomes involving the
The filibuster has already been surveyed length public opinion polls going back the 1930s.
Gallup first looked Americans attitudes 1937, when President Roosevelt sought pack the
Supreme Court and opponents filibustered the change the Senate. CNN, CBS News, Quinnipiac,
National Journal, The New York Times and others have all sponsored independent surveys the public
attitude toward the filibuster.
NSF notes the findings its study will reflected the investigator textbook congressional
politics, which one the most widely-read textbooks undergraduates the subject.
Regardless whether not the government findings reflect the decades polls taken without
federal funds, all these opinions may already irrelevant. The right filibuster nominations has
largely been dismantled without the backing public opinion and both the Majority Leader and
President have left open the possibility eliminating the legislative filibuster the future. difficult justify funding this politically motivated project while cutting off federal support for
hundreds scientific proposals. NSF announced earlier this year that result sequestration the
total number new research grants will reduced. Approximately 600 new NSF grants were not
funded. But the filibuster research project continues and just like real filibuster, which
just happened partially eliminated.
Wastebook 2013 Beachfront Boondoggle: Taxpayer the Hook for Paradise Island Homes 
(HI) $500 million
Ever dream escaping all and owning dream home remote island paradise? Didn think you
could afford it? Think again. There now U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) home loan
program here help you. Created assist those with low and moderate incomes rural areas obtain
 safe and sanitary dwellings, the program has expanded cover mortgages for millionaires and
homes suburban and urban areas, well seaside resort communities.
This year more than 100 individuals families received loan guarantees for $500,000 more from the
U.S. Department Agriculture purchase residence Hawaii. these new homeowners later
cannot afford their new homes, problem; the federal government will protect the banks from
losses repaying percent the loans.
These and thousands other loan guarantees were issued this year the USDA Rural Housing
Service (RHS) Section 502 loan programs. The Section 502 guarantee program and Section 502
direct loan program provide loans low and moderate income individuals for the purchase modest
housing rural area. The programs had authority guarantee $24 billion privately sourced
loans and make $900 million new direct loans for FY2013.
 There down payment requirement for the loans, maximum purchase price, and 
according USDA the government required serve all borrowers who meet eligibility
requirements and seek purchase homes eligible areas (emphasis added). And despite the name the program, serves more than just rural areas. independent analysis found that, today, the
program covers nearly the entire U.S. land mass. That has helped turn the program into one the
sweetest deals available.
The program issued nearly 166,000 loan guarantees 2013 and more than 100 those were for
 amounts greater than, equal $500,000. Nearly all these half-a-million dollar home loans were Hawaii.
Many the most scenic parts Hawaii, including Maui and Kauai, are eligible areas for USDA rural
loan assistance. Maui has been selected the top island the world for consecutive years the
annual Cond Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards. Providing combination tropical
ambience and American comforts, this island paradise offers abundance activities offered, from
whale-watching nature hikes watersports with unending natural beauty. The entire island Kauai, described little slice heaven, considered rural USDA.
Since property values Hawaii exceed the national average, buying home there may seem out reach for most, but everyone from risky borrowers the wealthy are benefitting from this USDA
loan program. The USDA rural housing program income guidelines are generous, notes senior
loan officer Hawaii. Likewise for those with more modest incomes, the Federal Government will
reimburse percent the original loan amount the lender borrower defaults
Thousands borrowers foreclose every year, costing the federal government hundreds millions dollars, and the number and cost have skyrocketed over the past five years. 2008, the program
had 3,369 foreclosures costing $103 million loss claims paid. 2011, there were 18,808
Wastebook 2013
foreclosures costing $295 million. Last year, the program paid $496 million loss claims, according the USDA Office Inspector General. trends continue, this loss will have exceeded half-billion
dollars 2013.
The department
acknowledges default rates
 vary throughout the year 
and during 2012, the
delinquency rate for loans more days past due
ranged from 7.65 percent 10.44 percent.
comparison, the
delinquency rate
typical housing market
around percent.
USDA subsidizing thousands risky and questionable mortgages, including
more than one hundred half-a-million dollar homes Hawaii, while threatening
While designed operate evict thousands poor disabled elderly residents.
off loan fees, the
program delinquency
rates make taxpayer bailout more likely according experts who predict likely the program
isn covering its costs and will probably require taxpayer funding.
While USDA was putting taxpayers the hook for generous and increasingly risky loan guarantees,
housing assistance low-income individuals across the country, including Hawaii, was being cut. March, USDA threatened the elimination rental assistance for more than 10,000 very low income
rural residents, generally elderly, disabled, and single female households. July the Department
notified hundreds borrowers that their contracts would cut off before the end 2013,
including housing unit for disabled elderly Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
And while USDA quick threaten assistance for the poor, elderly and disabled, the Inspector
General found the Rural Development program did not identify and review loss claims from loans
with questionable eligibility prior payment, resulting millions dollars improper
Before USDA kicks out low income elderly and disabled from rural housing, the department should
first discontinue its risky loan practices that are costing nearly half-a-billion dollars year loss
Wastebook 2013 Pimping the Tax Code (NV) $17.5 million
Through the tax code, Uncle Sam assisting the operation the legal brothels Nevada. These
businesses are antiquated practices from the days the state silver boom starting the 1850s, yet
they still manage get special treatment the tax code through exemptions designed for businesses.
Though prostitution illegal almost everywhere the nation, the federal tax code still allows
brothels qualify for standard business deductions and expenses. These deductions significantly
reduce brothel overall federal income tax liability, even though annual revenues for the industry
have been approximately $50 million. All while other sectors the economy shriveled.
Brothels can take deductions for groceries, salaries and wages prostitutes, rent, utilities and taxes
and licenses. The Mustang Ranch brothel, which was Nevada oldest, reduced its income tax
liability also deducting costs promotion, which included free passes. Workers are also
allowed business deductions. [B]reast implants and costumes have also been ruled allowable
deductions the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Workers can also deduct the cost equipment
for that specialized stuff, noted one tax expert.
About legal brothels currently exist Nevada. Only counties out 3,007 the United States
allow prostitution, and all are Nevada. 100 The counties alone have just 300,000 people. Brothels are
hardly economic drivers for communities since most are rural areas with few people. 101
Even though prostitution deemed illegal under nearly every law the nation, Congress must
explicitly disallow businesses legal illegal from making such deductions from their tax liability.
The IRS argued before the Supreme Court that illegal activities should qualify for normal deductions,
but the Court placed the buck Congress make that point explicit, which has failed do.
number federal laws already limit the scope what businesses are allowed deduct, but brothels
are not mentioned. least one prominent Nevada lawmaker has noted that allowing the practice gives the Silver state
bad name: Nevada needs known the first place for innovation and investment not the last
place where prostitution still legal. 102
Wastebook 2013 Mass Destruction Weapons (DoD) billion the U.S. war effort the Middle East winds close, the military has destroyed more than 170
million pounds worth useable vehicles and other military equipment. 103 The total amount
equipment eventually scrapped the equivalent 77,000 metric tons approximately
percent the total war material the U.S. military has Afghanistan. 104,105
The military has decided simply destroy more than billion worth equipment rather than sell ship back home. 106 have lot stuff there. Inevitably, overbought, stated Gordon Adams, professor
American University and former defense official the Clinton administration. always when war. 107
Why just not leave the excess equipment country for use the Afghan military? major concern
that Afghanistan forces would unable maintain it. Moreover, there worry the defense
industry might suffer the Pentagon unloads tons used equipment the market vastly reduced
prices. 108 This should viewed market correction and positive outcome the drawdown, not
reason send valuable equipment the scrap heap.
The most controversial aspect the disposal the mass destruction Mine-Resistant Ambush
Protected (MRAP) vehicles the massive beige personnel carriers the Pentagon raced build
starting 2007 counter the threat roadside bombs Iraq and Afghanistan. 109
The Pentagon has determined will longer require about 12,300 its 25,500 MRAPs. 110 Afghanistan alone, about 2,000 roughly 11,000 MRAPs have been labeled excess the military.
About 9,000 will shipped the United States and U.S. military bases Kuwait and elsewhere, but
thousands remaining vehicles, each worth least $500,000, will simply shredded. 111
The MRAPs were once hot demand, especially members Congress. 2007, Congress
appropriated billion for the MRAP program, which was ten times more than the $400 million
requested the Pentagon. The vehicles were difficult manufacture they were popular. The
3/8 -inch steel the vehicles difficult produce, and only few contractors provide it. 112 2007, the Department Defense made the acquisition MRAPs its highest priority. More than
24,000 MRAPs were built for troops Iraq and Afghanistan, costing taxpayers estimated $45
billion. 113
Congress excess now display, however.
What was once the Defense Department highest priority now the Afghanistan scrap market
flavor the month. Much the military equipment will continue shredded for pennies per
pound the Afghan scrap market. U.S.-made war scrap will likely worth $80 million the
international market. 114
The Army has roughly $25 billion worth equipment Afghanistan. Some military leaders simply
wanted bring most home, but they were overruled because the cost shipping heavy
Wastebook 2013
equipment out Afghanistan was too high. However, least one top Army logistics official
Lieutenant General Raymond Mason, Army deputy chief staff for logistics, contended that since the
estimated cost shipping home and repairing the gear tops out $14 billion, makes sense bring back. For investment $12 $14 billion, get $25 billion worth stuff, stated. 115
According Mason, are very good getting in, but good getting out. 116
Wastebook 2013 Let Google That for You: National Technical Information Service 
(Department Commerce) $50 million
One federal agency charging other offices and taxpayers provide government reports that are
largely available free charge the Internet. essentially the let Google that for you office the federal government.
Home more than three million records, 117 the Department Commerce National Technical
Information Service (NTIS) collects government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and
business-related information and reports and sells them other federal agencies. 118 Only turns out
most what sells can also found for free the Internet with little effort.
Established more than years ago, NTIS vestige the pre-Internet era when lot the reports
the agency collects were not widely available; however, times have changed agency has not.
Required law largely self-sustaining, 119 NTIS charges other federal agencies access its
collection reports. However, November 2012 review the office GAO uncovered that about
three-quarters the reports the NTIS archives were available from other public sources.
Specifically, GAO estimated that approximately 621,917, about percent, the 841,502 reports
were readily available from one the other four publicly available sources GAO searched. 
GAO explains, The source that
most often had the reports GAO was
searching for was another website
located 120
addition, reports could found
the website the issuing federal
department, the Government
Printing Office website, 121
Yet, federal departments continue
send taxpayer dollars NTIS for reports they could get for free with simple web search. NTIS notes
that one its best-sellers 122 the Armed Forces Recipe Service, available CD-ROM for $79. 123
However, the Armed Forces Recipe Service recipe index also available online and can
downloaded for free directly from the Quartermaster Corps Website. 124 Further, recipe index that
offers 1,700 convenient recipes for groups 100 that can easily adjusted down, 125 likely falls
outside the scope technical, scientific, and engineering reports the office should collecting.
Another report sold NTIS the 2009 Public Health Service Food Code produced the
Department Health and Human Services (HHS), which available for $69. 126 Alternatively, the
report available for free the Food and Drug Administration website. 127
Moreover, GAO found much the work outdated because NTIS has focused largely growing its
repertoire older reports. Specifically, NTIS added approximately 841,500 reports its repository
during fiscal years 1990 through 2011, and approximately percent these had publication dates
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2000 earlier. While the office worked accumulate reports older than those dated 2000, GAO
reports that only percent the reports distributed from 2001 2011 were dated older than 1989. 128
Meanwhile, nearly 100 percent the reports from 2009-2011 were distributed. However, these are
also the most likely available online elsewhere. 129
More than years ago, GAO issued two different reports explaining NTIS would need soon
reconsider its function and fee-based model, the Internet made the reports sold available for
free. 130, 131 Shuttering the NTIS entirely was first suggested 1999, the Clinton administration
Secretary Commerce William Daley, who contended declining sales revenues soon would not
sufficient recover all NTIS operating costs. 132 The Secretary attributed this decline other
agencies practice making their research results available the public for free through the Web. 133
According GAO, the decline revenue for its products continues call into question whether
NTIS basic statutory function acting self-financing repository and disseminator scientific
and technical information still viable. the actual let Google that for you website ( explains, this for all those
people who find more convenient bother you with their question than google for themselves. 
But when NTIS doing the Googling, the search response comes with price tag for taxpayers.
Federal agencies pay NTIS millions dollars each year provide government reports can are
available for free online and can found with simple Google search.
Wastebook 2013 Millions Spent Building, Promoting Insurance Plan Few Want and
Website that Doesn Work (Department Health and Human Services) least $379 million
With nearly half-a-billion dollars government funding put behind promoting product relatively
few people seem interested purchasing from website that doesn work, Obamacare perhaps the
biggest marketing flop since Coca-Cola introduced the world New Coke 1985.
The cost build estimated $319 million far. 134 The total amount spent
nationally publicity, marketing and advertising will least $684 million, according data
compiled The Associated Press from federal and state sources. 135 the Washington Post reported Obamacare infamous website, when the Web
site went live Oct. locked shortly after midnight about 2,000 users attempted complete
the first step. 136 time went by, things did not much improve.
Fewer than 107,000 people had enrolled Obamacare early November, 137 even though more than
4.8 million Americans were notified their health insurance plans were canceled result the new
Obamacare rules and regulations. 138 There were only people per day that enrolled during the first
month the Federal Exchange. 139 And the latest polls show growing opposition the program, with percent Americans now opposing the Affordable Care Act, better known Obamacare. 140
President Obama candidly acknowledged what millions Americans had concluded after trying
use the new website: was not working:
 The rollout the new health care [website] has been rough, say the least always
knew that that was going complicated and everybody was going paying lot
attention it, said. should have done better job getting that right day one not day day 40. 141 significant part the response failures, however, has been intensifying
campaign. Ads based research about the uninsured have already been popping radio,
and social media. The pitch: you don make much money, the government can pick some the
cost your health insurance. you can afford policy, law you have get one. 142 The
unintended punch line the ads direct the uninsured sign for plan the website.
One health insurance company executive questioned why would you spend million sending people website that broken. 143 very good question since administration officials were warned
consultants March that the website was risk failure. 144 Yet the
Administration went ahead and signed lucrative contracts with number big name Washington
firms for more than $60 million promote the site anyway. July, HHS inked $33 million contract with giant Weber Shandwick. Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid had already signed million and million contracts. Porter Novelli also has $20
million contract with the agency. 145
Wastebook 2013 one Washington veteran noted, you can have the greatest program imaginable all
different platforms social, media, advertising and earned media but you have have product
that functioning. 146
The states setting their own health care exchanges will receive proportionally more federal money
for outreach, advertising and marketing than the states where the federal government running the
program. 147 those states, community groups with federal grants will lead the effort convince
people sign up. 148
ABC News showcased what labeled The Strangest Ads Promote Obamacare Sign-Ups. 149
Topping the list Minnesota ads using legendary folklore hero Paul Bunyan (and his blue Babe) show Minnesotans that the land the north also the land 10,000 reasons get health
insurance. The two appear series ads 150 which the famous lumberjack suffers some kind
typical Minnesota injury axe wound, water ski collision. 151
Nearly $28 million will spent promoting Obamacare Washington. 152 One the state ads has
woman playing paper, rock, scissors escape the attack rabid raccoon. 153
Oregon spending $10 million advertising
Obamacare 154 with advertisements that don even
mention the program how enroll it. One
the television ads, produced the Portland
advertising agency North, Inc., does not mention
the word insurance how why enroll
the program. Another Oregon does not
mention the word insurance, but features what
appears Gumby riding the Beatles yellow
submarine. 155 Between Oct. Nov. 30, however,
just residents were able sign for private
$20 million Obamacare campaign, which features
insurance through Cover Oregon. 156
Elvis impersonator, has signed fewer than 4,000
enrollees including one dog named Baxter.
Colorado spending more than $20 million
promote the program 157 hoping enroll 136,000
patients health exchange network the end
March. 158 far, fewer than 4,000 have been
enrolled, 159 though one the enrollee turned out man pet dog. 160 The state campaign
compares enrolling Obamacare winning
casino and features Elvis impersonator. 161 Kentucky, outreach workers attended number Baxter. bourbon festivals and visited college campuses
across the state make young people aware the
program. 162
California spending $94 million its Obamacare enrollment campaign, including radio and
television commercials, highway billboard advertisements, and number Twitter and Facebook
posts and promotion county fairs and street festivals. 163
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10. Cost Unused Mega-Blimp Goes Up, and Away (Army) $297 Million era technological advances that make the machines war smaller and more agile, the Army
spent three and half years developing football field-sized blimp that would provide continuous
surveillance the Afghan battlefield called some unblinking eye. 164 2013, however, the Army closed the blimp eye forever when brought the project halt after
spending nearly $300 million. 165 The Army sold the airship back the contractor that was building
for just $301,000.
The blimp, also known the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), was intended
fly without human pilot for three weeks time, recording everything the ground. With expected total cost $517 million, aggressive schedule was set launch the helium-filled
Army officials hoped see the blimp flying over the Afghan battlefield December 2011, but instead
the aircraft made its first and only voyage August 2012 for minutes over Lakehurst, New
Jersey. 166
Immediately following the flight which was manned the Army issued release declaring the test
 successful, saying the blimp, can
operate altitudes greater than 22,000
feet above mean sea level, has 2,000 mile
radius action, can carry 2,750 pound
[intelligence, surveillance,
reconnaissance] payload for more than
days, and highly fuel efficient. 167
Less than two months later, however,
GAO released report which showed the
project had been plagued with severe
GAO found the LEMV did not meet their
originally scheduled launch dates and
The Pentagon Mega Blimp was mega waste money for
have experienced cost overruns 168
taxpayers. After $300 million and only one flight, was sold back Despite its intended ability fly the contractor for 0.10 percent what cost build.
20,000 feet for straight days, GAO
noted the airship was 12,000 pounds overweight and would only able fly 16,000 for
days. 169
The blimp sat parked Hangar Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakhurst until the Army decided shut
the project down 2013. 170 addition the cost and schedule mishaps, some noted how the blimp had uncertain mission
with the Afghan war winding down. 171 was not the first airship grounded the military, however.
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According Defense News, The Defense Department has spent more than billion least nine
programs recent years, yet the military owns just one working airship, piloted Navy blimp called
MZ-3A, which used for research. 172
Army officials, with more use for enormous blimp, decided salvage what they could and sold
the aircraft back the contractor for $301,000 fraction its cost build. 173
After nearly $300 million invested its design and construction, the Army was left with nothing but empty hangar bay.
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11. Pillownauts, Paid Lie Around and Nothing (NASA) $360,000
With percent its staff laid off, NASA became the most shut down agency during this year
government shutdown. 174 More than 17,700 NASA 18,250 employees were furloughed for weeks. 175
And the NASA administrator has
said furloughs may occur again
2014 sequestration continues. 176
Yet the space agency paying
individuals $18,000 each
literally nothing more than lie
around for couple months. 177
Subjects NASA
Countermeasure and Functional
Testing study will spend days
lying bed with their body
slightly tilted downward (head
down, feet up). 178
While participants the study
have been called pillownauts, 
NASA does not want couch
potatoes for the study, says
researcher Ronita Cromwell. 179
Two participants NASA bed rest research project. (photo courtesy
Since the test subjects have lots free time while lying around, participants are free watch
play games. Some write books try learn foreign languages, and some even continue work
they have Internet-based occupations. 180
The NASA Flight Analogs Project Team the Johnson Space Center maintains dedicated bed-rest
study facility the University Texas Medical Branch Galveston where NASA has been
conducting bed rest research for years. 181 participant one study said the day got up, after being bed for days [the study was cut
short Hurricane Ike], feet hurt like crazy walking for the first time! But, reminded myself, this what astronauts through, too. 182 few people take liking the study and come back for more. John Neigut, researcher with the
Flight Analogs Project says have numerous repeat requests for people come back the
study. 183
Who wouldn want paid lie bed all day?
NASA says the bed rest study will help scientists learn how astronaut body will change
weightlessness during space flight the future, 184 presumably mission Mars, which the top
priority the space agency according the administrator. 185
Wastebook 2013 manned space missions Mars anywhere else are planned, scheduled even possible
the foreseeable future, however, and NASA longer has active manned space program. But even
the event such mission does occur, lack physical exercise during long trip Mars pales
comparison the much larger health threat posed astronauts cosmic rays which can cause acute
radiation sickness. 186
Paying people lie bed and daydream flying Mars may close NASA gets sending
manned mission the red planet. Perhaps the agency might get there sooner prioritized paying
rocket scientists and engineers rather than people just lie around.
Duplication? NASA has conducted the pillownaut
study numerous times since the 1960 But back
then, NASA had real plans for long term space travel.
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12. Indie Rock Music Execs World Tour (ITA) $284,300
With aging rock stars now old enough collect Social Security, perhaps should not shocking genre music that once represented rebellion and counter-culture now taking government
welfare and handouts.
The American Association Independent Music (A2IM) received $284,300 this year from the
International Trade Administration (ITA) Market Development Cooperator program. 187 This the
first time the federal government trade arm has funded the promotion the U.S. music
industry. 188
With the government subsidies, independent music label executives have been traveling around the
globe promoting rock music foreign markets 189 what might called the Indie Rock Music
Execs World Tour. Last year, ITA officials accompanied A2IM members trip Asia. 190 This
year the group was rocking Rio.
Rock and roll despite declining revenues still big business, generating $7.1 billion the U.S. last
year 191 and independent music sales now make one-third the U.S. market, according Billboard
magazine. 192 why would those who
represent indie rock
alternative form rock that
resists the commercial
influences big money ask
Uncle Sam sponsor their
tour? need find new revenue
streams, explained Rich
Bengloff, president the
American Association
Independent Music. 193
Indie music execs rocking Rio.
Whatever the excuse, the
group having rocking good time courtesy taxpayers. Government official joined independent
music industry execs once cultural adversaries multi-city trip Brazil from April 18-22,
2013. 194 The agenda included conference independent music 195 and marathon one-on-one
meetings Rio Janeiro and Sao Paulo over four days, with little RR between. 196 This
included side trip Sugarloaf Mountain. 197
Alec Bemis, the managing partner Brassland label, spent time the trip Brazil comparing the
record stores, club districts and facial expressions locals the mention his bands. spent
day strolling through six-story Paulo mall tiny mom-and-pop shops devoted rock music,
posters and fashion. concluded Brazil, lots kids are into Goth rock and hard-core,
underground rock forms. 198 When asked about the success his trip, Mr. Bemis said didn ink
any deals but thought the trip was great opportunity, noting, Oh, this could work. 199 While his
label bands and their fans may not have got join him the trip, Bemis points out the internet has
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been creating smaller, more connected world for over decade. 200 This good point that further
raises the necessity government support for this and other trips. result the government funded junkets, Mr. Bengloff said some labels have signed foreign
distribution and licensing deals that will generate hundreds thousands dollars year. 201
Coincidentally, that the amount taxpayers shelled out pay for the tickets this tour that did not
even get attend.
With growing market share, becoming the first genre rock ask for government hand out, and
even raising money for politicians, 202 indie rock and roll sounding less independent these days and
more like special interest collecting corporate welfare.
The Indie Rock Music Execs World Tour may not have sold out, but the labels who participated
surely did.
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13. Status Update: Facebook Pays Taxes, Instead gets Tax Refund (IRS)
$295 million
Here status update one will like one America largest
companies avoided paying federal state income taxes, and
poised again this year. fact, they will likely receive
check from the federal government the form tax refund.
Despite bringing more than billion 203 U.S. pretax profits
last year 204, the social-media giant Facebook reported combined
$429 million refund from their federal and state tax filings. 205
Uncle Sam cut check Facebook for roughly $295 million
2012, according one analysis the company 10-K filing. 206
With status update one will
 like, the social media giant
Facebook, likely avoid paying
taxes 2013, with $2.17 billion net
operating loss carry-forwards, while
earning over billion dollars the
United States last year.
Facebook first annual 10-K report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission for 2012 details the company use the
employee stock option tax deduction, which lowered the
company income taxes owed federal and state authorities
$1.03 billion last year. providing stock options major form their compensation, date, Facebook has
claimed $3.2 billion 207
federal and state stock option deductions, $1.03 billion
which was used offset their total U.S. pretax profit $1.1
billion 2012, and $429 million was refunded from its 2010
and 2011 tax bills.
The remaining $2.17 billion stock option tax deductions can
now carried forward the company and used offset
future tax liabilities. This rollover, addition currently
outstanding employee stock options, may once again make
this year tax bill disappear.
Taxpayers gave Facebook gift card worth Facebook has the same U.S. pretax profit 2013 last year
($1.1 billion), the company will able zero out their tax
bill for the next year. 208 estimated $295 million 2012, and
Uncle Sam will likely cut the billion-dollar
company another big check 2013.
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14. Government Study Finds Out Wives Should Calm Down (NIH) $325,525 your wife angry you and you don want her stay that way, you might avoid passing along the
findings this government study.
Wives would find marriage more satisfying they could calm down faster during arguments with
their husbands, according government-funded research.
The researchers observed married couples. The marriages that
were the happiest were the ones which the wives were able
calm down quickly during marital conflict, explained one
researcher. 209
 When couples encounter strongly negative emotional events (e.g.,
anger arising from disagreements, disappointments, and perceived
betrayals) they often fall into primitive, survival-oriented mode
interaction, the study says. these interactions, spouses
repeatedly attempt justify their own behavior; criticize the other
spouse harsh, contemptuous ways; make broad, negative
attributions; and engage nonproductive cycles demandwithdraw behaviors. 210
Those unions where wives calmed down quicker were associated
with greater current levels marital satisfaction for both wives
and husbands well greater marital satisfaction over time for
wives. However, husbands downregulation negative emotion
(i.e. experience, behavior, and physiology) was not associated with
wives husbands marital satisfaction. 211
Men who want happy marriage
are probably wise avoid telling
their wives the government advice resolving marital conflicts for
her calm down.
One example provided the study negative events during conflict conversation focuses
stereotypical exchange between husband and wife regarding how she looks dress. She says
 pretty and elicits many compliments when she wears it. says doesn think they are sincere 
and that tolerates her suit because doesn look neat. prefers different outfit which she
says for teeny bopper. 212
The researchers admit the study had several limitations. 213
The National Institutes for Health spent $335,525 conduct the study. 214
Regardless, men who want happy marriage are probably wise avoid telling their wives the
government advice resolving marital conflicts for her calm down.
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15. Lifestyle Coaching for Senate Staff (Senate Office Education and
Training) $1.9 million
Sometimes working the Senate stressful and means staying all night get your projects done.
Fortunately, overworked and under-slept
staffers can take one dozens lifestyle
coaching classes offered the Senate
ensure they okay.
The Senate Office Education and
Training offers Senate employees wide
variety free courses everything from
the Benefits Good Night Sleep 215
 Pressure Point Therapy Workshop,
which students are taught how locate
and relieve active pressure. 216 For its
efforts, the office was provided $1.9 million 2013 according information provided Oops! The Senate Office Education and Training could use crash
course editing and proofreading. the office the Senate Sergeant
While the office little known, even within the Senate,
made national headlines briefly 2012 over typo the cover
its course catalog.
After misspelling the word training leaving out the first one staffer remarked, Ooh! They got editing and
proofreading class! 217
According its website, the Office provides variety ways
for you Senate staffer] enhance your professional
development and increase your performance and technical
skills. These include such offerings as, Assert Yourself: Speak with Tact Rather than Suffer Silence, which will teach
Senate employees the recognize the difference between
assertive, aggressive, and passive behavior without being
steamroller pushover. 218
With little getting done Washington this
year, many taxpayers may think Congress
spending too much time sleeping the job.
Still, the Office Education and Training
provided seminar regarding the Benefits Good Night Sleep for the Senate
Other classes for the more reserved include, Small Talk:
Breaking the Ice Social Situations 219 and That Not
What Meant!, one hour class that explore[s] the
difference between your intention and the impact your
words and behavior the other person. teaches the
important lesson that [c]ommunication difficult and
complex. 220
Wastebook 2013 Curious, Not Furious students are taught how examine difficult work relationship, discuss
the difference between labeling people and understanding them, and discuss five ways for
understanding challenging behavior. 221
Should that fail the trick, the class
 Forgiveness, defines the concept and explains
the [c]onsequences holding grudge. 222
Some classes are there for Senate staff who slept
through elementary, middle and high school such Making Subjects and Verbs Agree. 223
 The Basics Listening one the courses offered
the Senate Office Education and Training.
uncertain the lessons were actually heard since
senators seemed talk past each other more than ever
this year.
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16. Money-Losing Sugar Loans Leave Taxpayers With Bitter Taste (USDA)
$171.5 million
When Americans borrow money from banks, they are usually also required pay them back with
money. When U.S. sugar producers borrow money from the taxpayer, however, they can pay back
with sugar. all part convoluted, money-losing scheme sweeten sugar producers bottom lines known the U.S. Sugar Program. 2013 alone, the government lost $171.5 million because sugar companies could not pay back the
government for money borrowed. 224
The 2008 Farm Bill created the Feedstock Flexibility Program (FFP) increase the use ethanol and
biofuels. Under this program, the government required, times surplus, buy sugar from
processors and re-sell the sugar ethanol plants. 225 Since the 2012-2013 sugar harvest season the
first yield surplus, taxpayers are witnessing the program wastefulness for the first time.
August, the first use the FFP, the USDA bought only 7,118 tons out 100,000 tons sugar offered
for resale. 226
USDA then sold this sugar ethanol maker $2.7 million loss. 227 its second purchase, USDA paid $65.9 million for 136,026 tons sugar, and then sold ethanol
makers for $12.6 million-a $53.3 million loss. 228 Facing global surplus sugar for the foreseeable
future, the Congressional Budget Office forecasted the FFP cost taxpayers least $239 million over
the next ten years. 229 how does the USDA end with this surplus sugar sell loss ethanol makers? Because the
USDA has lent over $1.2 billion sugar processors exchange for sugar collateral. 230 move
protect U.S. sugar processors from foreign competition, USDA disperses loans for price support
ensure that U.S. domestic sugar prices are higher than the global markets and that Big Sugar keeps
bringing big profits. the 2012-2013 season, 20,000 sugar farmers received $1.7 billion net
gains. 231
Instead repaying the USDA with cash from their profits, U.S. sugar processors and producers are
actually defaulting their loans and forfeiting the sugar they put collateral. American Crystal
Sugar, the leading American sugar processor with 15.1% the market, defaulted its loan $71.2
million, which one-fifth the government loans held sugar processors who may also default. 232
While defaulting loan has serious financial consequences for the American taxpayer, American
Crystal President and CEO, David Berg, called beneficial [American Crystal financial health, 
and the way the sugar program intended work. 233
American Crystal not the only sugar processor not paying its bill American taxpayers. Earlier
September 2013, USDA accepted 85,000 tons sugar payment for loan due August. 234
Although USDA swapped the sugar for import credits, the government had swallow the $34.6
million cost the loan. 235 September 30, 2013, percent the USDA loans, over $233 million, U.S. sugar processors were outstanding. 236
Wastebook 2013
17. Tax-Payer Funded Pole Dancing NEA makes rain for Austin
performance group (NEA) $10,000
 This feels like art, said one performer the PowerUP Project, which features troupe Austin
Energy employees who engage performance art Austin, Texas, not much like work. 237 But
taxpayers are partially funding the choreographed pole dancing courtesy $10,000 dollar grant
from the National Endowment the Arts. other words, the group choreographed pole-dancing
being conducted xpayer expense.
PowerUP the artistic venture Forklift Danceworks, performance group that celebrates the extraordinary
the ordinary creating performances that focus
finding the artistic value the mundane.
According their website, the performance includes more
than fifty linemen, electrical technicians and Austin Energy
employees choreographed ninety minute dance with
bucket trucks, cranes and field trucks, and set utility
poles, all set before live audience accompanied the
aforementioned pole-dancing 238.
 The NEA funding really helps, says Allison Orr, Artistic
Director Forklift Danceworks, First all, vote
confidence, gives certain amount respect and
credibility that helps bring dollars from other
organizations. 239
The creators the program have said the show give
tribute the unseen men who provide and secure the utility worker plays the accordion while
power lines one Texas greatest cities. But age another climbs pole.
austerity and cuts government services, the government
might consider that one the best ways show support for blue-collar workers like these put
more money their pocket not make rain for pole-dancing linemen.
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18. The Million Dollar Bus Stop (VA) made gold? asked one commuter after learning single bus stop Arlington County,
Virginia, cost million. 240
The answer no.
The SuperStop is, however, complete
with heated benches and sidewalks,
 wireless zones for personal
computers. Yet has one
shortcoming roof that hardly
protects from the rain, snow, wind
blazing sun.
With total cost was million, 241 the
bus stop cost more than most singlefamily homes.242 large enough accommodate two The buck and the bus stops here. fact, one million bucks
buses time, but has room shelter were dropped off here construct the SuperStop, complete
with heated benches and sidewalks but little protection from rain,
only people. 243 And where lacks
practicality, seems make for snow, the blazing sun.
presentation: The glass-and-steel roof
swoops like bird taking flight and wall made etched glass opens the rear vista newly
planted landscaping. 244
One patron decried the high cost
era more important domestic
challenges: How much steel? How
much cement? How much glass? One
million [dollars]? Bring them court.
People are hungry. People are sleeping the street. doesn need
million. 245
 Where from, they built whole
highway rest stop for $1.5 million, 
noted one tourist.
The former chairman the Arlington
Can take the heat: the SuperStop high-tech screen couldn stand County Democratic Committee agreed July heat wave.
with the sentiment, labeling the bus
wasteful spending non-essential design elements. 246
stop construction extravagant and
Some have questioned the open-air design roof slanted upward and minimal walls. The bus
shelter pretty, one County Board member said, but was struck the fact that pouring
rain, going get wet, and cold, the wind going blowing me. 247 questioned
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even calling the structure shelter all. doesn seem shelter. doesn really shelter you
very much you can get pretty soaked two minutes. 
Future Super Stops costs were budgeted $904,000, but
public outcry about the cost the first was high the
county had temporarily halt the process. 248
The county hoping build similar SuperStops and has
received million federal funding since Fiscal Year 2004 so. 249 date, only $1.5 million federal funds has
been spent the project, leaving $6.5 million the bank. 250 FY2013, $102,986 federal funds were spent the
SuperStop project. 251
The bus stop now under investigation. Arlington County
has hired independent contractor conduct comprehensive review the project. 252 The
investigation, which adding more cost the bus stop
boondoggle, likely come the same conclusion the
commuters and taxpayers Arlington County: The
SuperStop super waste money.
Can take the cold: the SuperStop can hardly described bus shelter. December
storm left the bench dusted with snow
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19. Comic Book Superheroes Documentary (NEH) $125,000
Americans have been holding out for hero for long time Washington and straighten out the
mess. But alas there are not many supermen within the halls power these days willing put the
nation interests above their own, why shouldn turn imaginary heroes from the pages comic
books instead?
That exactly what two government agencies are doing celebrate the 75th anniversary the debut
Superman, considered many the first comic book
superhero, Action Comics #1. mark the milestone, the National Endowment for the
Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the
Arts (NEA) have financed the production
documentary, Superheroes: Never-Ending Battle, looking
back the history comics and their impact. 253 The
three part documentary aired Public Broadcasting
Service (PBS) October 254 and now available for
That right, you paid produce the series and now you
can purchase your own copy for $24.99). 255
The Superheroes project has received three federal grants
totaling $825,000 over the past three years: $125,000
NEH grant provided July, 256 another $675,000 NEH
grant awarded September 2010 and $25,000 NEA
grant August 2010. 257
2013 marks the 75th anniversary the first
comic book superhero, Superman, Action
Comics #1. celebrate, two federal agencies
have funded documentary, Superheroes:
Never-Ending Battle, looking back the history comics and their impact over the years.
Despite the existence several other similar
documentaries produced over the years, NEH claims
 Superheroes: Never-Ending Battle the first documentary examine the dawn the comic book
genre and its powerful legacy. 258 The History Channel aired Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked
2005, for example, and Comic Book Confidential, released 1988 and re-issued its 20th
anniversary, won award for Best Feature Length Documentary. 259
This documentary not the first time the federal government has recognized the cultural impact and
influence the heroes and creators comic books. 2008, President George Bush awarded the
National Medal Arts Stan Lee, for his groundbreaking work one America most prolific
storytellers, recreating the American comic book, noting Lee complex plots and humane super
heroes celebrate courage, honesty, and the importance helping the less fortunate, reflecting
America inherent goodness. 260
Comic books have come long way. the 1950s, U.S. Senate Committee investigated possible link
between comic books and juvenile delinquency. Today, comic books are big business and many the
characters they spawned star the hottest summer flicks the box office. Just last year, comic book
publication sales exceeded $474 million. 261 The same year, Marvel Avengers, based the
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superhero comic book featuring Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and others grossed over $623
million movie ticket sales. 262
While there denying the influence comic books and superheroes, taxpayers deserve real heroic
action confront the debt monster that continues grow evermore menacing result
Washington whimsical and wasteful spending projects like this. Coincidentally, Action Comics
#1, Superman confronts nefarious behavior Washington, D.C. 263
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20. Denali Commission Official Asks Fired and for Agency
Eliminated Because Hasn Worked Out (AK) $10.7 million not every day official with leadership role within federal agency asks fired and for his
agency eliminated. happened this summer. have concluded that [my agency] congressional
experiment that hasn worked out practice, wrote
Mike Marsh, the Inspector General for the Denali
Commission. 264 Marsh said the commission mission
had run its course 265 and that was time cut off
from federal funding.
The request did not unnoticed.
 Fire proclaimed the front page headline the
print edition The Washington Post reporting the
unusual request. 266
Yet Congress ignored his request and the agency
continues receive federal funds. hearings were
held about the future the agency even defend
the money had spent work has done over the
past years.
Few federal agencies have the distinction now being
worn the Denali Commission. 2013, the agency
inspector general said the commission mission had
 run its course 267 and that was time cut off
from federal funding. 268
 Fire proclaimed the front page The
Washington Post after the Inspector General asked
for his agency eliminated because was
year old failed experiment that hasn worked out practice. Congress ignored his request and the
Denali was established Congress through the Denali Commission Act 1998 269 promote rural
development the State Alaska, 270 also known the bush communities. Projects include power
generation, transition facilities, communication systems, water and sewer systems and other
infrastructure needs.
The Commission goal deliver services the federal government the most cost-effective
manner reducing administrative and overhead costs. 271 2013, the commission received $10.7
million federal funds and for fiscal year 2014, the Obama Administration requested $7.4 million. 272
Despite these goals, and years existence, the Inspector General for Denali urged Congress
 sunset Denali federal entity and convert into nonfederal entity. 273
Much the Inspector General concerns lie with his belief that many bush communities cannot
financially sustain the Commission investments, and thus the money wasted and the communities not benefit. Most the commission money has gone towards supplying the towns with
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powerhouses, tank farms, and medical clinics, but many cases there not additional funding, staff,
and upkeep expertise keep these facilities running.
According the Inspector General, Denali records show has spent around $200 million facilities Alaskan locations with populations less than 250 people. 274 Further, the total population
served these locations totaled less than 10,000 people less than two percent the state
population. 275
Denali run roughly full-time employees who interface with the federal government and
Alaskan state agencies, among other entities. The Inspector General described Denali, however,
nothing more than middleman that provides unnecessary link the funding chain. Further, the
Inspector General believes the Alaskan State agencies are far more technically sophisticated than the
small Denali staff and can deal with cabinet-level personnel more effective way. 276
After more than decade the job overseeing the commission, Inspector General Mike Marsh asked
that Congress longer send Denali annual base appropriation but instead find ways help
 leave the federal nest. 277
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21. Federal Program Plays Secret Santa Special Interests (USDA) $50
While the U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) sounded lot like Scrooge this year threatening cut nutrition assistance for low income women and children, 278 was behaving like secret Santa special interests spreading good cheer and taxpayer dollars through the Specialty Crop Block Grant
Program. Here are more than few other examples how the program spent $50 million ring the
holidays early 2013:
Rockin Around the Christmas Tree. Yes, Virginia, there Santa Clause. And the Virginia
Christmas Tree Growers Association one the six projects involving Christmas trees that was
funded. These included shearing, marketing and promoting Christmas trees. 279 The program also
supported least five ornamental plant initiatives, including project increase consumers 
awareness and preference for Florida-grown ornamental plants investigating determinants
consumer purchasing behavior such personal health and wellness benefits and environmental and
economic benefits and developing contextually relevant marketing strategies increase plant
sales and another support seminars ornamental plants the South Carolina Nursery and
Landscape Association conference. 280
Visions Sugar- plums Dancing Their Heads. The Specialty
Crop Block Grant Program had sweet tooth for sugar producers
this year and gave the plum growers reason dance. The
California Dried Plum Board received taxpayer dollars enhance
the market for prunes Japan and South Korea. Funding was
provided for developing and implementing comprehensive
social media marketing campaign for the Vermont Maple Sugar
Makers Association, organizing and promoting Maple
Weekend including recipe contest, tours sugarhouses,
restaurant participation, and promotional activities with the
Massachusetts Maple Producers Association, and partnering with
the Michigan Maple Syrup Association increase the
profitability Michigan maple syrup producers developing
planting stock for new sugar bushes with higher sap sugar. 281
While blaming sequestration for
being Grinch poor women and
children, USDA played secret Santa
special interests.
Global Santa Tracker. Just like Santa with his bag full toys, the
USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program traveled around the world this year spreading joy, with
more than ten grants paying for international junkets. These included conducting the USA Pear
Road Show China, sending representatives from the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association
international tradeshows, bringing wine connoisseurs from China Washington state, supporting
the participation Puerto Rican coffee producers the Specialty Coffee Association Europe trade
shows, hosting seminars cooking with pistachios and prunes Japan and South Korea, putting meetings, product showcases, trade tastings, and educational seminars for Oregon producers
Asia, facilitating bean grower field day Mexico, supporting attendance domestic and
international trade shows for Michigan groups and companies, and assisting with trade
development mission Vietnam, the Philippines and Hong Kong. 282
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Holiday Wine and Spirits. Santa may enjoy glass milk with cookies get him through busy
evening delivering holiday gifts and cheer, but the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program showed
preference for wine. The program funded wine related projects this year. These included creating
two smart phone apps help navigate the next winery, promoting wine trails and sales,
improving wine tasting room satisfaction, and developing West Virginia wine trail publication, and
hosting Wine Pavilion the South Dakota State Fair. 283
Making List and Checking Twice. When making list duplicative government programs, the
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program sure least twice since mirrors many ways
least two other USDA programs, the Market Access Program and Value-Added Producer Grants.
While not all the projects funded the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program were wasteful, nearly
all were eligible for funding from other federal programs making the program unnecessary. The largest
proportion grants was provided for marketing and promotion, such social media for strawberries
and YouTube video about the proper handling watermelons.
And Partridge Pear Tree: The USA Pear Road Show, promoting pears far away China,
was one the two pear related projects funded this year the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
While flight China was included, partridge was actually involved either project. 284
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22. Federal Government Spends Millions Apartments for Deaf Seniors, Then
Decides They Can Used Deaf Seniors (HUD) $1,236,500
After spending $2.6 million needed apartments for the deaf, government lawyers now say the
Tempe, Arizona based Apache ASL Trails (Apache) apartment facility violates the law because has
too many deaf residents. According the Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD),
the apartment facility does not enough also attract non-deaf residents. 285 However, HUD funded
this award winning project knowing the property was designed and built for seniors who are deaf,
hard hearing, and deaf-blind. 286
About eight years ago, federal study found that deaf and hard hearing persons face pervasive
discrimination the rental housing market. 287 projects like the 75-unit apartment, designed
specifically for the deaf started funded and built. 288 The Tempe, Arizona building highly
successful. According reports, more than percent the units are occupied deaf, deaf-blind
and hard hearing tenants. 289 Currently there long waiting list.
The apartments offer much needed independent living community for seniors years age
located close everything the East Valley. 290 Most importantly, the apartments create barrier
free environment that facilitates communication among residents and between residents and staff.
Additional amenities include video phone that allows residents talk with friends, 291 lightequipped fire alarms, and blinking lights signal when the doorbell rings and when utilities like the
garbage disposal and air conditioning are running. 292 worth noting that these additional
amenities far exceed the minimal accessibility requirements mandated HUD for persons who are
HUD now threatening pull all Arizona housing aid
unless the managers Apache reduce the number deaf
residents more than the complex apartments percent the available units. The National Association
for the Deaf has described these actions unprecedented,
saying There statute regulation that mandates any
such percent quota, and the imposition any such quota ideological principle that ignores the reality housing
needs for many people with disabilities including deaf and
hard hearing individuals. 293
Apache residents say living facility has positively
transformed their lives and that they would devastated
this housing were not available. One resident sign
language told reporter that would devastated. would
Apache ASL Trails Advertisement with Sign
cry. want stay here, need this place. 294
Bernie Horwitz, 73-year old Apache tenant, told Arizona Family 2012, get the sense HUD
almost coming here saying they want get rid deaf people. 295 bipartisan coalition members the Arizona Congressional Delegation leading efforts resolve this matter manner that
protects the current residents Apache and the purpose for which the building was built.
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HUD officials claim have plans kick any the tenants out, but their proposed actions will
deny this type supportive housing future residents who need and would benefit from the
accessibility features the building. Also, the $1.2 million cost retrofitting the apartments for deaf
residents will have been wasted.
The federal government invested $2.6 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
funding and HUD grants into $16.7 million project.
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23. Terrorist Who Killed and Injured Fort Hood Continued Collect
Government Paycheck (Army) $52,952
When retired Army Specialist Logan Burnett asked describe the Fort Hood shooting uses
language that evokes both the immediate horror combat and how the trauma that day still echoes his life. remembers blood everywhere his blood, and the blood fellow soldiers and
thinking was going die. 296,297
Now three years later, Burnett and other victims that day are still dealing with the repercussions the worst terrorist attack American soil
since 9/11. 298
Thirteen people were murdered and others were
wounded the one-man terrorist attack Fort
Hood, Texas, 2009, making the worst mass
murder military installation U.S. history. 299
While the families the survivors and victims
were fighting receive military benefits, the Fort Hood shooter Major Nadal Hasan was cashing his
paycheck. Since the shooting, Hasan has received over $278,000 military benefits because the
Military Code Justice doesn allow soldier suspended until they are found guilty. 300
 [It] makes sick stomach, said Burnett the
Hassan salary payments. 301 There have been times when wife and cannot afford groceries gas our car times
where ate Ramen noodles for weeks end. 302
While soldiers like Burnett and others victims the Fort
Hood terrorist attack have had fight the Defense
Department tooth and nail receive benefits, taxpayers
have spent more than half million dollars $548,000,
total Hasan imprisonment, and that number doesn
include his military benefits. 303
These soldiers and the victims the Fort Hood terrorist
attack deserve better.
They deserve know that their country values respects
them more than respects the man who tried end their
Retired Army Specialist Logan Burnett has
faced physical, psychological, and economic
hardships since surviving what was the
largest terrorist attack since 9/11 Fort
Hood, while the perpetrator continued
receive paycheck (and other military
benefits) from the Army.
While Hassan was found guilty August, Congress needs act ensure this type mistake will
not made the future.
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24. NASA Searches for Signs Intelligent Life Congress (NASA)
One NASA next research missions won exploring alien planet distant galaxy. Instead,
the space agency spending million Washington, D.C. and study one the greatest
mysteries the universe how Congress works. 304 collaboration with Georgetown University Government Affairs Institute, NASA presents
its annual Congressional Operations Seminar Capitol Hill. Over the course week,
attendees will provided comprehensive look how Congress organized, the key players
and their roles, how the legislative process really works, and how Congress directly affects the
daily operations every department and agency the Executive Branch. The seminar will
presented with particular focus NASA. Participants will receive briefings from experts
the field, have the opportunity attend committee hearings, and observe floor action.
Participants will also provided hands-on understanding the congressional process and
procedures well the culture that the United States Congress. 305
The space agency says there high demand for this seminar and open all NASA civil
servants. 306 NASA will spending million this mission over five years from December 2012
through December 2017. 307
Beam up, Mr. Speaker! NASA spending millions dollars study one
the greatest mysteries the universe how Congress works.
 Many government agencies,
including NASA, are
continuing experience
restructuring, budget cuts,
new missions, and numerous
other changes. help
federal employees better
understand the ways which
congressional actions affect
the daily operations every
department and agency the
executive branch, NASA has
need provide first-hand
congressional processes and
procedure, well the
 culture that the United
States Congress, according NASA. 308
There question that the
inner workings Congress are baffling and confounding the other big mysteries the universe,
such whether not life exists other planets. The truth is, Congress does very little work
these days and even when does often unexplainable. Only bills had been passed
both chambers and signed into law December 2013, 309 putting the current Congress
pace the least productive ever. 310
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These include the production National Baseball Hall Fame commemorative coins, the naming
bridge, and the renaming previously passed law. But perhaps this Congress better known for
what did not pass 2014 budget and not single regular appropriations bill set spending levels
for agencies, including NASA.
This dysfunction reflected Americans dismal attitudes towards the job performance the
legislative branch. Congress job approval for 2013 track the lowest yearly average the
four decades that the Gallup polling company has been surveying Americans attitudes. Only
percent Americans surveyed approved the job Congress was doing. 311 poll The Economist rates
Congress even lower, with approval rating percent. 312 313
Most college graduates have taken course American Government (or the very least, seen
Schoolhouse Rock) and are familiar with how bill becomes law. doesn take degree rocket
science, however, know that the current Congress has failed perform its most basic tasks. NASA
would far better off looking for intelligent life elsewhere the universe.
Wastebook 2013
25. Parking Center Stuck Park (DOT) $50 million child born 1997 the same year the construction the Paul Sarbanes Silver Spring Transit Center
began now old enough drive and park the center. That the parking center was actually completed and
open pedestrians. 1997, local officials Montgomery
County, Maryland announced plans
spend $20 million and build transit hub downtown Silver Spring, just outside
Washington, D.C. 314 The center was
intended allow easier pedestrian, vehicle
and mass transit access the Metro
train system, Amtrak and the local
commuter train, MARC. 315 The original
plans expected the transit center open
1998. 316 Sixteen years later, the center
remains shuttered and the costs have child born 1997 the same year the construction the
skyrocketed more than $112 million. 317 March 2013, local officials requested $120 million Paul Sarbanes Silver Spring Transit Center began now old enough drive and park the center. That the parking
additional $7.5 million. 318 Despite sixteen
center was actually completed and open pedestrians.
years delays and cost increases
approaching 500 percent, the federal government has provided percent the total funding
date. 319
Sometimes costs lot money and takes lot time build something great. took one year
and days, for example, complete New York Empire State Building for cost $41 million
1931. 320 Maryland Chesapeake Bay Bridge took years complete 1952, costing $45 million.
But should take more than years and $120 million complete parking garage?
Construction the transit center was completed 2011, though has sat vacant since. The latest
round delays and cost increases have been attributable allegations that was not built correctly,
and may not even pass basic safety test. Post-construction safety inspectors for Montgomery
County found concrete poured private contractors [Foulger-Pratt] the reinforcing bars the
top floor was not compliant with industry standards. 321 Another report released March 2013
third-party, KCE Structural Engineers, found additional safety problems and said the structure may
only last years, rather than having minimum 50-year service life. 322
Foulger-Pratt bitterly disputed the claims, but did say, there issue with safety here related design. That the county issue, not ours. 323 top that, one the firm principles noted, the
project was fraught with mismanagement the county. 324 the end April 2013, the cost the structure had risen $120 million, though was still unclear
when the transit center would open. 325 The county and lead contractor attempted find
agreement path forward, though the project inspector had not yet signed off. 326
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26. Red Ink Pays for Red Wine for Red China (California, Washington and
the People Republic China) $415,000
Taxpayers are likely get red the face when they learn the federal government, awash red ink,
paying serve red wine red China.
The U.S. Department Agriculture spending over $415,000 this year serve fine wines
China. This handout includes $369,292 grant from the Emerging Market Program 327 and $45,984
grant from the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. 328
The Emerging Market Program grant intended build community influentials China
create demand for fine California wines. 329 The money has been awarded the Family Winemakers California (FWC) and Stonebridge Research Group LLC develop roadmap how sell
California fine wines China. 330 The project seeks appeal China aspirational wine
consumers building the associations between the wines and desirable/prestigious/luxury
experiences. 331 would
 training wine educators who will then
deliver the classes across China, 
according the president
Stonebridge. The only way know
how win wine customer heart
tell them the stories about handcrafted
world class wines, about the people who
make them, the places and the history
and its intimate connection the soil,
the people and the place. believe
they will realize that these wines are not
only great value but highly
prestigious. 332 This grant the first expected three year undertaking. 333
Taxpayers are likely get red the face when they learn our federal
government, awash red ink, paying serve red wine red China.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant
Program will bring Chinese wine connoisseurs Washington state meet with local wineries. 334
The goal the project, which being conducted partnership with the Washington State Wine
Commission and Visit Seattle, build Washington State reputation premier destination for
wine tourism. 335
Because China has growing market, American wine makers have good reason promote their
products the Communist country. 2012, wine sales China reached 257 billion yuan, about $41
billion. 336 The sale American wines the country totaled $74 million, percent from 2011. 337
But makes little sense for the U.S. federal government, which owes China over $1.2 trillion, 338
spending some that borrowed money pay for wine tours and tastings for Chinese wine
connoisseurs, especially when our nation struggling implement the budget cuts imposed
sequestration. Real wine connoisseurs know what the best wines are, and don need governmentfunded marketing tell them.
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27. Hurricane Sandy Emergency Funds Spent Ads (HUD) $65 million January 2013, Congress passed bill provide $60.4 billion for the areas devastated Hurricane
Sandy. 339 However, instead rushing aid the people who need most, state-level officials New
York and New Jersey spent the money tourism-related advertisements.
Making this particularly vexing for some local residents, the flow disaster aid has been both paltry
and slow. While many agencies were responsible for administering the aid, the Secretary Housing
and Urban Development (HUD) was appointed lead the federal
recovery effort. October 2013, though, only one person
Staten Island has received help, the form housing
assistance. 340 contrast, funding from HUD for television ads flowed quickly.
According the agency, the federal government approved
Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBGDR) waivers for the states New York and New Jersey allow
the states special permission spend disaster aid funds
tourism advertisements. 341
Specifically, the State New York plans spend $140 million, which $40 million will come from
federal disaster aid, for advertising campaign called New York State Open for Business. 342 These
television ads were approved the New York State Legislature and received heavy airtime CNN,
CNBC and NBC. Likewise, the State New Jersey also tapped into federal disaster aid pay for
marketing campaign declaring the state Stronger than the storm, and will use $25 million
CDBG-DR funds launch commercials remind people that the Jersey Shore and other parts the
state are open for business. 343 May, the governor, along with Snooki from the cast MTV Jersey
Shore, held events the shore try and draw people there for
the tourism season. 344
Despite these efforts, though,
tourism the areas hardest hit
was way down, calling into
question the effectiveness the campaign. Sales for the beach
season some Jersey Shore
businesses were down between percent and percent over
the year prior. 345
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28. Want Shrubbery! Gardening and landscaping services the Brussels
home the NATO Ambassador (State) $704, 198 Congressional hearings the terrorist attack the U.S. Consulate Benghazi, Libya, State
Department officials have testified that consistent shortfalls have required the department
prioritize funding out security accounts the funds provided were inadequate. 346 what items are higher priority than security for embassies and diplomats?
The State Department spent $704,198 gardening and landscaping services the 28-acre Brussels
home the U.S. Ambassador NATO. 347
Included the purchase were 960 violas, 960 tulips, 960 begonias, Japanese evergreen shrubs, 504
ivy geraniums, 168 hybrid heath evergreen shrubs, 204 American wintergreens, and English ivy
shrubs. 348
According State Department spokesperson, the official residence, named Truman Hall, regularly
hosts visitors from the NATO nations and other Alliance partner countries around the world and valuable platform for America diplomacy. 349
The spokesperson also stated the contract awarded Iris Greencare, Belgian company, was the
lowest technically acceptable price. 350 Perhaps the sequestration cuts influenced the State
Department set the maximum amount solicitation $500,000 for gardening and landscaping
the U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia.7351 The value remains determined for the solicitations for
botanical diplomacy U.S. Embassies Santiago, Chile; Maseru, Lesotho; and Bangkok, Thailand.8
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29. Counting Sheep While the Flood Waters Rise (USGS) $15,000
With flooding anticipated, the counting the animals began.
Not Noah boarding two every animal onto his Ark escape the great Biblical flood, but rather the United
States Geological Survey (USGS).
This year, USGS shut down more than 100 crucial gauges that warn imminent flooding lack needed
water across the country. 352 The move called issue life, property, and safety the Chief Scientist for
Water the USGS was blamed sequestration. 353
USGS claimed lacked the $29 million funding needed keep the
flood gauges operational.
While the budget cuts were blamed, perhaps the decision had more with drowsiness from counting sheep result the expansion
the agency aerial animal census program.
That right, USGA was spending thousands dollars counting sheep
and other animals the same time flood gauges were being turned off.
USGA counted pygmy rabbits Idaho and elk Washington, 354
eagles and trumpeter swans Idaho, 355 Sand Hill cranes and sage
grouse birds Colorado, sheep and deer Nevada, and seals
and sea lions Alaska. 358
The U.S. Geological Survey utilizes two types
aerial drones, the THawk and the Raven.
The USGA animal census more sophisticated than the headcount the U.S.
population taken every ten years conducted via aerial drones. The agency
utilizing two types aircraft:
battery-powered, fixed-wing
airplane called the Raven and
gas-burning helicopter called the
THawk. The Ravens were
 designed monitor enemy
positions from afar and cost approximately $250,000 per
The USGS got its first military-surplus drone 2009 and flew its first real mission 2011. 361 There are
now drones the U.S. Geological Survey and the
Department the Interior fleet.
The Department the Interior acquired the drones, valued
363 nearly $15 million, from the Department Defense.
Each sheep-counting mission costs $3,000 labor
expenses. 364 comparison, costs about $15,500
annually maintain flood gauge. 365
Drone systems are stationed Alaska, Arizona, Colorado,
Idaho and Montana. Each these states also home
flood gauges discontinued threatened USGS. 366
While the flood gauges were being shut down, the USGS expanded its National Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Project. 367 fact, there has been groundswell Department Interior drone use recent years,
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according Mike Hutt who manages the Geological Survey National Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project
Office Denver. 368 Every week brings more requests from other Interior Department agencies, according
USGS official, and those counts are going beyond just counting wild animals. Oregon, for example,
drones are being used survey potatoes. 369
While USGS was counting sheep, other entities tried fill the safety vacuum left the agency decision
shut down flood gauges. The Colorado
Water Conservation Board, for example,
paid keep four streamflow gauges
running, that were essential warning floods the state September. 370
Likewise, Washington cannot caught
counting sheep acting like sheep
the rising tide red ink threatens
submerge the American Dream. This
means learning prioritize true
government missions. While counting
sheep and other wildlife certainly has
scientific value and can reduce the risk
pilots flying missions hazardous
conditions, flood gauges have scientific
value well the potential save the
lives thousands Americans who
otherwise would not alerted rising
flood waters.
The cost five sheep counting drone missions could pay restore one
closed flood gauge for whole year.
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30. Federally Funded Solar Panels Covered Manchester-Boston Airport
Because the Glare Blinds Pilots and Controllers (FAA) $3.5 million
When officials the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport New Hampshire installed new solar
panels, they did not anticipate one quarter them would not used months later. 371 Spring
2012, the panels were placed top the airport parking garage, and percent have remained
there, covered with tarp, rendering them useless.
Problems with the new panels were noticed almost immediately air traffic controllers who claimed
that for minutes each day, glare made difficult oversee the airport runways. 372 However,
not though glare was unforeseen problem. Prior the solar panel installation, the airport hired
consulting firm Harris, Miller, Miller Hanson conduct glare study and provide
recommendations avoid the problem. 373 While the airport followed the firm recommendations,
they were not able avoid glare