Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Report: America's Most Wasted

Last month, Senator James Lankford released his second edition of Federal Fumbles wherein he provided 100 examples of wasteful government spending (see Federal Fumbles - 2016 Edition). Not to be outdone, Senator John McCain released a report entitled "America's Most Wasted" which he calls the first in a series of oversight reports that expose wasteful, duplicative and inefficient government spending.

McCain's report identifies $294 million in funding on federal programs that have expired and are no longer authorized to receive tax dollars including swedish massages for rabbits and NASA's green ninjas program for children. Additionally the report identifies $1.1 billion on the following wasteful spending programs.

  • $50 thousand for the Army to research the bomb-detecting capabilities of elephants
  • $30 thousand for puppet shows in Vermont
  • $225.3 million in Social Security overpayments
  • $49 million of National Guard spending on pro sports advertising - instead of training and equipping the armed forces
  • $753 million and 10 years to renovate a building for Members of Congress
  • $14 million for a duplicative Catfish Inspection Office
  • $23 million on a DHS contract that was eventually terminated
  • $391 thousand on NIH's dog bite prevention website
  • $15 thousand for EPA to study pollution from your backyard BBQ

Many of the identified wasteful program are grants awarded by the National Institute of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, The National Endowment for the Arts, and Department of Agriculture. Some of the larger programs however (building renovations) involved construction contracts.

If each member of Congress identified $2 billion, or so, in wasteful spending, we would really be on to something.

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