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Wastebook: 100 Examples Of Idiotic Programs

From the Washington Examiner:

Senator’s waste investigation finds NASA blows nearly $1 million annually creating Martian food

By Mark Tapscott | Mon October 15, 2012

It likely will be decades before an American astronaut sets foot on Mars, but NASA officials are spending almost $1 million a year researching the best food for the Red Planet’s first visitors from Earth.

So far, scientists at Cornell University and the University of Hawaii have used the NASA funds to create recipes for Martian pizza and about 100 other dishes to be consumed on a mission that likely won’t happen before the year 2030, according to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK…

The Martian culinary research is conducted under NASA’s Advanced Food Technology Project, which was singled out in the 2012 edition of Coburn’s annual "Wastebook" chronicle of the 100 worst examples of wasteful and unnecessary federal spending he and his staff uncovered in the past year…

Also listed in the Wastebook is a $300,000 Value-Added Producer Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to an Idaho firm to market and sell caviar.

But the federal bureaucrats responsible for the caviar grant aren’t interested in selling more of the luxury item to members of the 1 percent. Fish Producers of Idaho is supposed to use the federal tax dollars to encourage "the masses" to eat more caviar…

Another example highlighted by the Wastebook is the $2 million spent annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on service fees for maintaining bank accounts for an estimated 28,000 grants that have been exhausted.

The fees paid by HHS for these "phantom accounts" total at least $173,000 a month but the wasteful spending could be stopped easily, according to the Wastebook…

The National Journal notes a few more examples:

What Government Gets for $18.9B: Robo-Squirrels and Floating Outhouses

By Erin Mershon | Mon October 15, 2012

"How many nutritious school lunches could have been served with the $1.8 million in financial assistance provided to cupcake specialty shops?," Coburn asks in a letter at the start of the report.

The report derides initiatives from all branches of government, including some increased food stamp benefits for recipients that use medical marijuana… and a $32,000 project to recreate a historic street out of Legos…

Below [are] our 10 favorite examples from Coburn’s report:

$325,000 for an effort to build a lifelike Robo-Squirrel
$27 million for a project that included pottery classes for Moroccan artists translated by someone who was not fluent in English – and using materials that cannot be purchased in Morocco.
Almost $50,000 for Smokey the Bear hot-air balloon appearances.
$505,000 in block grants for a pet shampoo and toothpaste company.
$40,000 for a video game based on Thoreau’s writings at Walden Pond.

More than $540,000 for a dancing robot that DJs smartphones.
Nearly $68,000 for a "Students Against Trash" poster campaign.
$97,000 for a floating outhouse on an Oregon lake…

Fox News has some more items:

Coburn’s ‘Waste Book’ details $19 billion in eye-opening government expenses

- Though skeptics say there’s no such thing as a free cellphone or service funded by the federal government, Coburn’s report shows otherwise. It estimates that taxpayers are subsidizing phone service at a cost of nearly $1.5 billion a year. Though the roots of the program can be traced back to an effort in the 1930s to make sure all Americans had access to telecommunications, it has morphed into program that provided free cell service to some 16,500,000 participants last year.

- The report spotlights widespread abuse of the food stamp system – including an exotic dancer who earned more than $85,000 a year in tips, but also collected nearly $1,000 a month in food stamps while spending $9,000 during that time period on "cosmetic enhancements."

- Nearly $700,000 from the National Science Foundation to a New York-based theater company so it could develop a musical about climate change and biodiversity. "The Great Immensity" opened in Kansas City this year. Along with the songs one reviewer described as sounding like "a Wikipedia entry set to music," the audience was also able to experience "flying monkey poop."

In all, the 2012 Waste Book report details 100 examples totaling nearly $19 billion. Coburn acknowledges that’s a drop in the bucket in contrast to the overall federal deficit, which tops $16 trillion, but he says the items are snapshots of the bigger problem…

Of course one problem with our budget is that $19 billion is just "a drop in the bucket."

Moreover, we don’t believe that any of the programs Coburn has cited in the past have ever been ended.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Wastebook: 100 Examples Of Idiotic Programs”

  1. Right of the People

    The government system of grants is one of the biggest money wasters ever. And why are we spending $27 million on anything in Morocco?

    I’d love to see the federal government get audited by a private firm to root out all of the waste.

  2. Mithrandir

    The idea is Cloward-Piven, to overwhelm and crash the U.S. economy.

    Run up the debt
    get less taxpayers by making people dependent
    harass companies with high taxes and burdensome regulations
    sue companies out of existence
    suck money out of capitalist economy through high taxation
    make a million excuses not to cut anything (Obama, “We need to cut the fat with a scalpel, not a hatchet.”)
    blow cash on utter nonsense
    borrow money at high interest rates

    1000 paper cuts later, and you can’t stop the bleeding. Liberals can’t say no to anything b/c they simply don’t want to. They know how it all adds up in the end.

  3. canary

    more examples like NFL running as a non-profit, and getting more people to eat Cavalier?

    http://rantpolitical.com/2012/.....ent-waste/

    How’s that under bridge for turtle crossing in Florida doing? Surely, they are allowing turtle hunting for turtle soup instead of road kill.

  4. GetBackJack

    Damn glad to have this entry Steve thank you

  5. Chrispbass

    But it’s not news, and it’s not relevant to media and just like all the reports that revealed the BS in the stimulus’ it’s worthless.




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