50 examples of egregious government spending including fish on a treadmill, loans repaid in peanuts, and a Desperate Housewives-watching computer
Posted on Jan 10 2017
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today released Wastebook: PORKémon Go, highlighting 50 examples of outrageous and wasteful federal spending amounting to more than $5 billion. This is Flake’s second edition of the Wastebook series, started by retired Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Among the 50 examples of egregious federal spending uncovered in Flake’s 2017 report are a program that accepts peanuts for loan repayments, a computer that binge-watches Desperate Housewives, and a study into what happens when you put a fish on a treadmill.
To help combat some of the wasteful spending featured in the report, Flake will introduce the Stop Paying U.S. in Peanuts Act to end the nutty program that allows federal loans to be repaid in peanuts.
Flake will also be reintroducing legislation to permanently prohibit the practice of earmarking.
“Government boondoggles come in all shapes and sizes and pop up just about everywhere,” said Flake. “Hopefully this report will be a guide to catch egregious spending lurking in the federal budget."
The full report can be downloaded here.
Highlights from Flake’s 2017 edition of Wastebook include (click links to view related footage and other content):
- $1.7 million for a comedy club starring holograms of dead comedians
- $74 million for a program that allows taxpayer-backed loans to be repaid with peanuts
- $1.5 million to test the endurance of a fish on a treadmill
- $5 million to study the partying habits of fraternities and sororities
- $460,000 for a computer to binge-watch “Desperate Housewives” and “The Office” in order to learn human behavior
- $3.5 million to learn why people are afraid of going to the dentist
- $817,000 to study monkey drool
- $3.4 million for hamster cage fight matches
- $300,000 to study if girls or boys spend more time playing with Barbie dolls
- $450,000 to determine if dinosaurs could sing
- $12 million for an IRS unused e-mail archiving service
Flake will present his Wastebook at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. today at 10 a.m. EST/8 a.m. MST. To view a livestream of the event, click here.
- In May 2016, Flake released Twenty Questions: Government Studies That Will Leave You Scratching Your Head.
- In December 2015, Flake released Wastebook: The Farce Awakens. In November 2015, Flake joined U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to release Tackling Paid Patriotism, a report on their joint investigation taxpayer-funded payments by the Department of Defense to professional sports teams for patriotic displays honoring the U.S. military.
- In June 2015, Flake responded to calls for a return to the practice of congressional earmarking by releasing Jurassic Pork, a report highlighting the continued cost of pork projects in the post-earmark-ban era.
- In December 2014, Flake published the Science of Splurging, a report highlighting more than a dozen examples of wasteful and egregious spending by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Since June 2014, Flake has released PorkChops, a series highlighting wasteful and egregious federal spending.
- While serving in the House, Flake established the Egregious Earmark of the Week series, which ran from 2003 until 2010, after Congress enacted a self-imposed moratorium on congressional earmarks.