100 examples of egregious, outrageous and unnecessary government spending
Posted on Dec 08 2015
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today released Wastebook: The Farce Awakens, highlighting 100 examples of wasteful federal spending amounting to more than $100 billion. The findings in retired U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) series of waste reports included shrimp on a treadmill and mountain lions on a treadmill – now Flake is carrying on the tradition, including his discovery of a study with monkeys on a treadmill for the latest instalment of the Wastebook franchise.
“To see so much money so outlandishly wasted, it’s clear that Washington’s ballyhooing over budget austerity is a farce,” said Flake. “Hopefully, this report gives Congress – which only ever seems to agree when it comes to spending money – something to Chewie on before the taxpayers strike back.”
Highlights from Flake’s 2015 edition of Wastebook include (click links to view related footage):
- $1 million for monkeys running in hamster balls on a treadmill
- $5 million to “Help A Hipster” quit smoking by throwing parties at bars and nightclubs
- $1.2 million to put sheep in microgravity
- $2.1 million to promote tourism in Lebanon, a nation the State Department advises travels to avoid due to “ongoing safety and security concerns”
- $17,500 to have people wear a fat suit for “weight sensitivity training”
- $853,000 to teach minors the art of making wine
- $707,000 for researchers to create a fight club for shrimp
- $780,000 to study college students and pizza addiction
- $276,000 to discover how unattractive people snag a more attractive date
- $1.3 million to study how a koozie keeps your beer cold
- $3 million for bus security grants that were paid, in part, to companies operating luxury charter buses and limousines, including a self-proclaimed “nightclub on wheels”
- $104.4 million to subsidize low-income public housing for over-income families
- $175,000 to develop a smartphone app that lets you know who caught the fish you are eating
- $1.2 million grant partially used to fund a life-size Pac-Man game
The full report can be downloaded here.
Background: Wastebook marks Flake’s fourth oversight report in under a year. In November 2015, he 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 regularly 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.