Congressional 'Waste Book: 2015' has some sickening examples of your tax dollars at work
Arizona senator Jeff Flake has released the congressional "Waste Book" for 2015, listing 101 examples of stupid, inane, maddening, and sickening government spending.
Flake took up the task of compiling the book when Senator Tom Coburn retired last year. He plays on the hoopla over the coming release of the Star Wars movie, titling the book Wastebook: The Farce Awakens, with a picture of Flake as Luke Skywalker on the cover and Coburn portrayed as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
As a longtime admirer, former colleague, and friend, it is a great honor, heavy responsibility and awesome privilege to join others, like Senators James Lankford and John McCain, to try to carry forward the Coburn legacy of making those who spend accountable to those who pay tax dollars,” Flake said.
No government agency was spared in Flake’s 286-page report that features 101 examples of waste, from the big ($100 billion in government-wide, improper payments) to the small ($20,000 to “celebrate the piñata” in Baltimore).
“Monkeys running in hamster balls on a treadmill. Zombies in the White House. Sheep in microgravity. Cartooning in India. A life-size Pac-Man game. Jazz lessons for robots. A cloud city on Venus!” Flake said, listing off the numerous examples of waste in the introduction to his report. “Despite the public ballyhooing over budget austerity, the government didn’t come up short on outlandish ways to waste money in 2015.”
The monkey study cost taxpayers $1 million from the National Institutes of Health, an agency often cited for its wasteful spending. The project trained twelve marmoset monkeys in how to run on a treadmill, which caused some unfortunate animals to vomit and “defecate in their exercise ball.”
Other examples included $50,000 from the State Department for a Do-It-Yourself festival in Moscow; $853,000 from the National Science Foundation for wine classes for minors; and $68,129 in food aid from the Department of Agriculture that was spent on a craft beer, wine, and spirits training program in Vietnam.
A $1.3 million National Science Foundation study tried to figure out if a koozie does in fact keep a beer cold (it does), and a $780,000 National Institute of Drug Abuse study attempted to determine if college students can get addicted to pizza. The results were inconclusive.
The Department of Transportation spent $77,000 on anti-drunk driving PSAs where fake drunk men criticize women’s looks.
Ads included one drunk man telling a woman “plastic surgery would do wonders for your jaw structure and definitely your nose,” and another saying she would “be cuter with the lights off.”
Remember: All of these atrocities are contained in a $4.3-trillion budget that we are constantly told by the left cannot be cut any more than it has been. These 101 examples are just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. There are litterally thousands of useless experiments, studies, and department expenditures of not only questionable value, but also questionable constitutionality.
Beyond that, there is so much the federal government is doing that could be cut, or transferred to the states, but won't be because powerful interest groups have grown up around programs that would scream bloody murder if funding for their pet projects was reduced. This is what makes cutting spending a difficult undertaking. That, and a lack of will in Congress and the White House to get spending under control.
What's needed is a fundamental transformation in government from top to bottom, that treats tax dollars with far more care than is currently the case. The billions spent on frivolous, unnecessary, and unconstitutional programs should go back into the pockets of taxpayers, who are being robbed by cynical, uncaring bureaucrats and politicians.