"A look back through some of the year’s most outrageous federal spending” that totals over $1 billion for 65 examples. The total waste is more than $385 billion. But hey, at least there’s not $400 hammers, $640 toilet seats and a $500,000 outhouse in Pennsylvania this time. At least some of the Inspector Generals are doing their jobs.
Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management released today the oversight report, “2008: Worse Waste of the Year.”
To the American Taxpayer,
As part of my commitment to oversee how federal agencies in Washington, D.C. spend your money, I am releasing a series of oversight reports on federal spending.
With billions of taxpayer dollars spent on low-priority and questionable projects, 2008 was a banner year for wasteful Washington spending. In a time when the government is spending huge sums to address a struggling economy, Congress needs to ensure efficient use of our own resources before turning to taxpayers and asking for more.
With your help, we can begin making a difference and change the way Washington works.
The report shows examples of double money such as the Frank M. Charles Memorial Park in New York, which received $1 million in 2008 to repair tennis courts and to install Astroturf on a single baseball field. The same park received a $1 million grant in 2000 for similar upgrades, but the money was squandered, leaving the park in a state of disrepair and in need of more federal funds.
A $500,000 was given to the “B In Tune” youth music program in 2008 to teach kids about “funk music and Nobel peace laureates.” No proof was ever furnished to show the money was used for its intended purpose. When asked why, the organization’s director said that a senior consultant became “ill”. An additional $430,000 grant was given to the organization also in 2008, in which the director said it would be used to teach kids how to be a DJ or how to produce a TV show.
In the misappropriations, California used $3 million in federal funds intended for nutrition programs in the San Diego school district to assist low-income students by giving the funds as bonuses to San Diego employees leaving the district. The Department of Education has not yet decided on whether the school district would be required to pay back the funds.
Just a thought here, are AIG’s accountants the same as those used by the U.S. government? The complete list includes 65 examples [PDF] of wasteful spending. Below are my favorites. At least there aren’t any $400 hammers and toilet seats this year…..
- Bike paths, museums, scenic route, and roadside greenery, $800 million. The funds were suppose to be used to fix federal highways and bridges.
- An IRS mailing notifying taxpayers that they were getting a stimulus check, $42 million. This does NOT include the stimulus checks. This is simply the cost to mail notices that their checks would be there soon.
- The National Park Service Centennial Party in 2016. Congress authorized $24.6 million for 2008 with a build up to spend $1 billion overall on the celebration.
- To build an art museum in Iraq, $13 million.
- Medicare continuing to purchase brand name medication while generic is available, $6.5 million.
- A retractable shade canopy for Haddad Riverfront Park in West Virginia, $2.4 million.
- Training classes for casino workers in Kansas, $784,000.
- Clevelands Botanical Gardens “Green Corps”, which is a work study program that teaches teens to make salsa from the plants they grow, and then sell it as a money maker for the Gardens, $517,000.
- An inflatable alligator and under-the-sea waterslide in Texas, $367,000.
- FCC-sponsored NASCAR events to promote the digital TV transition, $350,000.
- Search for Alaskan Ice Worms in New Jersey, $326,733.
- For specialty potatoes at high-end restaurants, $300,000.
- EPA Administrators Junket Trip to Australia, $280,000.
- Funding for the “Lobster Institute” to promote the lobster industry throughout Maine, in part by deploying an underwater LobsterCam, $188,000.
- Six portraits for the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Commerce, the NASA Administrator, the Commandant of the Coast Guard and even the director of the National Cancer Institute, $167,290.
- A state barn census in Vermont, $150,000.
- Remounting the worlds largest fish in New York, $135,000.
- Studying American and Chinese Video Game Habits in California, $100,000.
- A non-functioning gas station shaped like an airplane, in Tennessee, $9,000.
- Money given to the Westfield Washington Public Library in Indiana for the purchase of a Nintendo Wii console, tv, camcorder and games”, $3,905.
And remember, this same government wants to give money to the Big 3? They gave to AIG, and look what they did with the money. Party time!