Floyd Reports Opinion


The 100 Worst Cases of Government Waste in 2010



Although the United States is $13 trillion in debt, mandatory spending alone exceeds tax revenues, and the Congressional Budget Office is warning of a coming U.S. “fiscal crisis,” Congress felt no need to trim spending. The just-adjourned 111th Congress headed by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi added more to the national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, has published his collection of the 100 most wasteful projects his colleagues deemed worthy of your hard-earned tax dollars this year. Among the most offensive, ridiculous, and startling examples of pork in the Year of our Lord 2010, he found:

  • Nearly $5,000 of stimulus money to hire goats to graze the weeds at Idaho’s Heyburn State Park;
  • $6 billion for ethanol subsidies, which raise food costs;
  • $177,000 for Ohio teachers to travel to China to learn about the Chinese “education” system;
  • $137,530 for a Dartmouth professor to develop “Layoff,” a video game that encourages its players to fire as many people as quickly as possible;
  • $700,000 for New Hampshire researchers to examine “greenhouse gas emission from organic dairies,” which are cause by “cow burps, among other things”;
  • $442,340 to study male prostitutes in Vietnam;
  • $823,000 to teach South African men how to wash their genitals after sex. (We reported this one earlier this year);
  • $55,000 to celebrate HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. Of course, there is no anti-AIDS vaccine, but the “observance is a day to recognize and thank” the professionals “who are working together to find” a cure;
  • $571 million — more than half-a-billion dollars — diverted from building roads and infrastructure to plant flowers on the roadsides;
  • $2.9 million to study how players of the online game World of Warcraft collaborate;
  • $5,000 for the Murfreesboro, Tennessee public library to host video game nights, featuring Rock Band, Wii Bowling, and Mario Kart;
  • $609,160 to develop a video game based on the life of a wolf;
  • $615,000 for the University of California-Santa Cruz to digitize Grateful Dead memorabilia;
  • $10,000 for the Woodstock Film Festival, attended by such elites as Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins, and Uma Thurman;
  • $150,000 for signs alerting drivers of crossing salamanders in Monkton, Vermont;
  • Nearly $1 million to post snippets of poetry at zoos;
  • $175 million for unused buildings, including an octagonal monkey house in Dayton, Ohio;
  • $239,100 to study how singles use online dating sites while they are lookin’ for love;
  • $31,350 for a comic book mouse who teaches children the history of printing;
  • $112 million in fraudulent tax refunds for prisoners;
  • $1.5 million for a museum in Shelby, North Carolina, to honor bluegrass banjo picker Earl Scruggs;
  • $60,000 to renovate a pizzeria in Waterloo, Iowa; and
  • $212,735 to study the state of “civility” in U.S. politics in Pullman, Washington. Liberals rediscover the virtues of “civility” every time a conservative criticizes a Democratic president.

These synopses hardly give their projects their proper due. Read about them, and 77 others, in the senator’s report. Download Sen. Coburn’s entire Wastebook 2010: A Guide to Some of the Most Wasteful Government Spending of 2010 here.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.


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