Tom Coburn Releases Wastebook 2011, Highlights Government Waste

Unfortunately, this is not a thriller or science fiction

(Fox News) Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn on Tuesday released his annual “Wastebook” highlighting what he’s labeled some of the government’s most wasteful spending items, including $113,000 for a video game preservation center and $765,000 to subsidize “pancakes for yuppies” in Washington.

Coburn, a Republican who is known around Washington as “Dr. No” for his opposition to excess spending, said in a press release Tuesday that his “Wastebook 2011” details the “most egregious ways your taxpayer dollars were wasted” — items he claims total more than $6.5 billion in “unnecessary” spending.

Coburn’s statement includes

“Video games, robot dragons, Christmas trees, and magic museums. This is not a Christmas wish list, these are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars. Over the past 12 months, politicians argued, debated and lamented about how to reign in the federal government’s out of control spending. All the while, Washington was on a shopping binge, spending money we do not have on things we do not absolutely need. Instead of cutting wasteful spending, nearly $2.5 billion was added each day in 2011 to our national debt, which now exceeds $15 trillion,” Dr. Coburn said.

A few choice bits of waste Coburn highlights

  • $75,000 to promote awareness about the role Michigan plays in producing Christmas trees & poinsettias.
  • $15.3 million for one of the infamous Bridges to Nowhere in Alaska.
  • $113,227 for video game preservation center in New York.
  • $550,000 for a documentary about how rock music contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
  • $48,700 for 2nd annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival, to promote Hawaii’s chocolate industry.
  • $350,000 to support an International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy.
  • $10 million for a remake of “Sesame Street” for Pakistan.
  • $35 million allocated for political party conventions in 2012.
  • $765,828 to subsidize “pancakes for yuppies” in the nation’s capital.
  • $764,825 to study how college students use mobile devices for social networking.

That’s what he highlighted. Digging into the report itself, we also find

  • $120 million in benefits for dead federal employees
  • $492,005 to study whether or not to trust Tweets
  • $742,907 grant to Montana State University to research the use of targeted sheep grazing to control weeds
  • $50,000 for cowboy poetry
  • $5.2 million for the Steamboat Overlook Interpretive Center
  • $592,527 to study feces throwing in Occupiers chimps
  • $74,470 – The Treehouse Museum Spends Taxpayer Dollars to Teach the Art of Puppetry
  • $6,279 for snow cone makers for emergency situations

Gotta stop there, I could keep going on and on with the list. And some might say “sheesh, come on, it was only $6k for the snow cone makers.” OK, let’s see you spend your own money on them. Not such a pleasant purchase now, is it? Your significant other, children, parents, friends, would excoriate you and call you a fool, right? Why should the federal government wasting your taxpayer money be treated any differently?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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