Senator Coburn's 'Wastebook' highlights frivolous spending
Senator Tom Coburn has come out with his annual Wastebook of government boondoggles, and as usual, he's got some eye-popping examples of massive waste.
The federal government this year made significant cuts to important services and programs while at the same time wasting $30 billion on frivolous expenditures like the "pillownauts" study NASA conducted to learn the effects of lying in bed all day, a new watchdog report shows.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., on Tuesday released his fourth annual "Wastebook," a catalog of questionable government spending that is, at best, pretty wacky (funding for "Popular Romance Project" -- $1 million) and, at its worst, infuriating (continuing pay for Army Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter -- $52,000).
Coburn noted in his latest report that the questionable spending continued even while the government was slashing other programs and services to meet the spending mandates of the 2010 Budget Control Act.
The 2013 Wastebook includes 100 examples of what Coburn called fiscal mismanagement that apparently escaped the axe of those sequestration cuts.
"Washington would have you believe everything that could be done has been done to control unnecessary spending," Coburn said in the report. "Had just these 100 been eliminated, the sequester amount would have been reduced by nearly a third without any noticeable disruption.
The next time Nancy Pelosi says "the cupboard is bare" and there's no more to cut from the budget, throw a few these into her face:
-- $325,525 for National Institutes for Health to study 82 couples and conclude marriages are happier when wives calm down quickly during arguments.
-- $1.9 million for "lifestyle" coaching for the Senate staff, including the "benefits of a good night's sleep."
-- $10,000 for the National Endowment for the Arts to support PowerUp, which features more than 50 linemen, electrical technicians and Austin energy employees "in a choreographed 90-minute dance with bucket trucks, cranes and field trucks and a set of 20 utility polls, all set before a live audience."
You can see all 100 examples of government profligacy here.