Wastebook 2014 was just released. The report features gambling monkeys on the cover and gives details about $25 billion in pork spending by the federal government so far this year. “What Washington doesn’t want you to read. Misbehaving bureaucrats paid millions to do nothing,” the latest version of the Wastebook says.
US Senator from Oklahoma, Dr. Tom Coburn, said this about the compilation of the Wastebook, “With no one watching over the vast bureaucracy, the problem is not just what Washington isn’t doing, but what it is doing. Only someone with too much of someone else’s money and not enough accountability for how it was being spent could come up some of these projects.”
Dr. Coburn goes on to state that he has learned from experience that Washington D.C. will “never change itself.” Coburn added, “Even if politicians won’t stop stupid spending, taxpayers always have the last word.” According to the Oklahoma Senator, Congress literally forced various federal agencies to “waste billions of dollars” for political and parochial purposes.
A rider bill attached to a large NASA bill cited as an example of the wasteful government spending detailed in the book. The NASA bill was reportedly intended to build a $350 million launch pad tower. Unfortunately for American taxpayers, the launch pad tower was “mothballed” when construction was completed because the rockets which would have utilized the tower had been “scrapped years ago,” according to Dr. Tom Coburn. Another example of the pork spending of 2014 noted in the Wastebook involved a move to close an “unneeded” sheep research station that cost the taxpayers $2 million each year. Politicians from the region reportedly lobbied to keep it open – and won the debate on the matter.
Some highlights (or lowlights) from the 2014 Wastebook as shared by Senator Coburn
- Coast guard party patrols – $100,000
- Watching grass grow – $10,000
- State department tweets @ terrorists – $3 million
- Swedish massages for rabbits – $387,000 [at The Ohio State University]
- Paid vacations for bureaucrats gone wild – $20 million
- Mountain lions on a treadmill – $856,000
- Synchronized swimming for sea monkeys – $50,000
- Pentagon to destroy $16 billion in unused ammunition — $1 billion
- Scientists hope monkey gambling unlocks secrets of free will –$171,000
- Rich and famous rent out their luxury pads tax free – $10 million
- Studying “angry” spouses stabbing voodoo dolls – $331,000
- Promoting U.S. culture around the globe with nose flutists – $90 million
Other pork spending items noted in the 2014 Wastebook include a $190,000 government program to study compost digested by worms. A $10,000 Oregon Children’s theater production of “Zombie in Love” and a whopping $414,000 to upgrade and Army video game designed to aid in recruitment – the project was reportedly already $25 million over budget when the new funding was approved. A National Institute of Health study with a more than $370k price tag wanted to discover if “moms love dogs as much as their kids.
Senator Coburn, who is retiring, has produced the Wastebook for the past five years. “We should be ashamed that we’re wasting money the way that we are. So if we’re watching and we’re holding people accountable, we’ll get better value for the taxes that we pay and we won’t risk the future of our kids,” the Oklahoma Senator concluded.
What do you think of the government waste report?