$19 Billion in Pure Government Waste this Year and Growing

Senator Coburn’s annual government waste report includes money for a campaign to encourage people to eat caviar, research on whether quick glances of a person’s face can reveal whether or not they are gay, and a musical about biodiversity and climate change.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) issued his annual report on government waste this week. Entitled “Wastebook 2012,” it compiles 100 of the most egregious ways taxpayers’ money is being squandered. Coburn awards Congress the “well-deserved but unwanted distinction as the biggest waste of taxpayer money in 2012.”

The frivolities that taxpayers’ money has been spent on are so silly they are easy to poke fun at. Coburn refers to NASA spending $1 million to develop a menu of food to eat on Mars as “Out-of-this-world Martian food tasting.” $325,000 for construction of a robotic squirrel for observing its interaction with snakes is described as, “When robot squirrels attack.” 

The types of government waste are all over the spectrum. Nothing is too wasteful to exclude for this Congress. There is another bridge to nowhere, a sidewalk to nowhere, indirect subsidies to professional sports, and awarding of contracts to the highest bidders instead of the lowest bidders. 

The massive abuse of food stamps is exposed. They are being used to purchase alcohol, Burger King, soap operas, Starbucks frappuccinos, cigarettes and cars. Some recipients received additional food stamps because they smoked marijuana. An exotic dancer who made $80,000 in tips annually, spending $9,000 on “cosmetic enhancements,” also collected $1,000 a month in food stamps. 2,000 dead people are still receiving food stamps.

Read the rest of the article at The Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research

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