New Report: How Much Money Is The Federal Government Wasting On Outrageous Crap?

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) just released his office’s annual
report on outrageous and frivolous federal government expenditures.
The 2013 Wastebook breaks
down the details of 100 of the Feds’ most egregious expenses from
this year.  

A few highlights:

Mass Destruction of Functional Weapons: $7

The military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds of
usable vehicles and other military equipment. Twenty percent of the
U.S.’s total war material used in Afghantistan wil be scrapped.
Why? Because officials fear that if the military sells used
equipment, it could drive down prices and hurt the defense

Popular Romance Education: $914,000

The National Endowment of the Humanities awarded the Popular
Romance Project a nearly $1 million grant to build a website,
create a documentary, host an academic symposium and embark on a
nationwide library tour exploring the presentation of romance in
popular culture. So if you’re curious about the cultural
significance of Edward and Bella’s relationship
Twilight, you’re in luck. (Never mind that
 blogs have
managed to explore the subject sans government funds.)

Sugar Industry Subsidies: $171.5 million

Through the U.S. Sugar Program, domestic sugar companies can
repay government loans with sugar rather than money. In 2013 alone,
the government lost $171.5 million
because sugar companies could not repay their loans.
Under the Feedstock Flexibility Program created in 2008, the
government is required to purchase surplus sugar and re-sell it to
ethanol producers. This fall, the Feds sold the surplus product at
a $56 million loss. 

Furloughed Non-Essential Federal Workers Paid For Not
Working: At least $400 million

During the shutdown, thousands of federal workers deemed
“non-essential” were asked to not show up to work for a few weeks.
More than 100,000 of these “non-essential” furloughed
employees receive a salary of at least $100,000. Each of these
workers was paid $4,000 for their time off work. 

Superman Propaganda: $10 million

To encourage enrollment in the military, the National Guard
teamed up with Warner Bros. Studios. The government designed a
Superman-themed ad campaign, complete with commercials, online
videogames, sports car design-wraps and a series of fitness videos,
to be aired around the release of the film Man of

Obamacare, At least $379

The Wastebook has strong feelings on this one:

With nearly half-a-billion dollars in government funding put
behind promoting a product relatively few people seem interested in
purchasing from a website that doesn’t
work, Obamacare is perhaps the biggest marketing flop
since Coca-Cola introduced the world to “New Coke” in

The cost to build is estimated at $319 million so
far. “The total amount to be spent nationally on publicity,
marketing and advertising will be at least $684 million,
according to data compiled [by] The Associated Press from federal
and state sources.”

Sen. Coburn, who’s
known as “Dr. No”
(along with former Rep. Ron Paul) for
vetoing almost all new spending initiatives, is an outspoken
opponent of much discretionary spending and an advocate of
entitlement reform. However, he is not opposed to all government
spending. He begins the Wastebook with a condemnation of the Feds
for skimping on what he considers important programs, such as
military pay and housing assistance for the disabled
elderly, while funding frivolous ones. Additionally, as a
devout social conservative, the Wastebook includes some
questionable criticisms. For example, he bemoans Nevada’s
prostitution industry being allowed to file for standard business

Read the
full report here

Watch a Reason TV interview with Sen. Coburn about how both
parties bankrupted America:

from Hit & Run

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