Wednesday, December 23, 2015

7 unbelievable ways the government wasted your money in 2015

Eric Pianin, The Fiscal Times

Congress’s approval last week of $1.15 trillion of new spending and $622 billion of special tax breaks before most lawmakers had a chance to examine the fine print is a reminder that even with plenty of committee oversight the budget is a vast, unfathomable playground for waste and inexplicable government programs.

Government waste, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, and what’s one man’s vital government investment or research project is another man’s boondoggle or government rip-off. Former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) burnished his reputation as a deficit hawk by publishing an annual “waste book” of the 100 most egregious government expenditures – a document that is now being emulated by his successor in the Senate, Republican James Lankford of Oklahoma, and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

The targets are limitless, as Flake documents in his new “Star Wars” inspired waste book, “The Farce Awakens.”

A $1 million project involving monkeys on a treadmill, another $1.2 million to assess the effects of microgravity on sheep, $110 million spent on constructing buildings left empty in Afghanistan, $300,000 for a cheese heritage center, $5 billion for unneeded data centers, and on and on.

“Despite the public ballyhooing over budget austerity, the government didn’t come up short on outlandish ways to waste money in 2015,” Flake wrote in his introduction. “Like the monkeys on the treadmill, Washington politicians also ran in place trading familiar arguments in the seemingly never ending match of budget brinksmanship. But the stare down over whether or not to increase spending didn’t last long.”

There is an embarrassment of riches to choose from in picking seven good examples of the most wasteful or ridiculous government spending in 2015, thanks to Flake, Lankford and Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense. And that means that any list will be highly subjective — and woefully incomplete. Still, some projects simply jump off the page and demand attention. Here are our choices:



Anonymous said...

Unbelievable that any sane person can come up with a top 7 list of ways th government wastes our money. There are millions of unbelievable ways they waste our money.

drjohn said...

Add how about feeding 75,000 head of feral horses who contributes nothing to the welfare of the people of the world.My suggestion is millions of cans of Mustang Stew