Wednesday, March 13, 2013

GOVERNMENT WASTE???? THIS GIVES A NEW MEANING TO THE WORD! WASTEBOOK 2012

FROM THE OFFICE OF SENATOR TOM COBURN


GEEZUS MURPHEY!  I started out cutting/pasting the highlights from this report, thinking there would be 25 examples, and then 50.  I got to #54 before scrolling to the end.  There are 100 examples in this of how our money is wasted!  I’m exhausted  and I’ve only been scanning the first paragraph or two of each example.  I need a glass of wine – FOR LUNCH.

ADDITIONALLY, THERE ARE 66 PAGES OF FOOTNOTES WITH LINKS TO THE SOURCES!

Scan these…. your head will spin.  Go read the entire article (link above) but DO NOT have any heavy objects handy if you value your computer!

BUCKLE UP – HERE WE GO! [Comments in brackets are mine, not Sen. Coburn's]
  1. The most unproductive and unpopular Congress in modern history does nothing while America struggles – (Congress) $132 million
  2. In West Virginia, thousands of dollars were spent to reconstruct a historic streetscape… out of Legos
  3. In Los Angeles, a yacht used by city officials, celebrities, and other VIPs was upgraded for nearly half a million dollars
  4. Taxpayers may be losing at least $91 million subsidizing tax loopholes for professional sports leagues that generate billions of dollars annually in profits – because they are classified as NON-PROFITS‼‼
  5. $4.5 BILLION dollars will be illegally spent in the SNAP (old food stamps program) on junk food, gourmet coffee, beer, diapers, and condoms.  In three states, some individuals received more food stamp benefits simply because they smoke marijuana.  The USDA spent nearly $3 MILLION TO ADVERTISE THE SNAP PROGRAM to attract new users
  6. The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) voted this year to keep a rarely used Lake Murray State Park Airport open simply to land more federal funds. The airport averages just one flight per month, has no planes based there, and is situated mere miles from two more heavily used airports.  In the last five years, Lake Murray State Park Airport has received $750,000 through the FAA program.
  7. Moroccan pottery classes – (U.S. Agency for International Development) $27 million - In 2009, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) began pursuing a four year plan to improve the economic competitiveness of Morocco. [W.T.F.!]
  8. This goal of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Advanced Food Technology Project, which has already developed a recipe for pizza and about 100 other foods that could be served some day on Mars.  The tab to the taxpayers:  $947,000
  9. Robot squirrels:  $325,000…. [Why do we need robosquirrels?] 
  10. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) spent $300,000 this year to promote caviar
  11. Over $9 million in federal money was earmarked to a failing for-profit ferry verging on bankruptcy, which very few people benefited from and a small town in Alaska did not want
  12. The government pays as much as $2 million annually in monthly service fees to maintain about 28,000 phantom grant accounts that are empty and have expired.
  13. The cost to produce a penny in 2012 is more than two times its actual value. The Department of the Treasury announced the average cost of production this year was 2.4 cents – the highest it has been in years.180 (Similarly expensive, nickel production now costs over 11 cents per coin) The total cost of producing over 5 billion pennies this year will run at least $120 million.
  14. OBAMAPHONES!  Funding comes through the “universal service charge” tacked on to the phone bills of most Americans. As more people sign up for the subsidized phones, the charge increases, and for some cell phone users amounts to over $10 per year.  Americans are now paying $1.5 BILLION annually for the subsidized cell phone program, called Lifeline.  Just in the last year, enrollment grew 43 percent to 16.5 million participants.  Since 2007, the total cost of program has increased twenty-fold. [This started out to be an emergency system for ill/inform/elderly – now it’s the OBAMAPHONE – available to anyone on any government assistance program – great for buying votes!] 
  15. Government officials in West Virginia used millions of federal taxpayer dollars to purchase 1,064 high-capacity Internet routers to increase broadband access throughout the state. Each router is capable of serving a computer network with tens of thousands of users, such as the network of a large university campus, but the routers are being installed at sites with only a few users, such as government offices, schools, libraries, and other public offices.  Purchased several years ago, the routers are still being installed statewide. Each router cost $22,600 for a total of $24 million, paid for with federal stimulus dollars
  16. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided taxpayers with a chance to relive PROM WEEK.  In 2012, the agency supported the creation of “Prom Week,” a video game simulating all the social interactions of the event.  The project used part of a $516,000 grant from NSF. [WTF again!]
  17. Pulp and paper companies could reap a $268 million tax windfall by asserting an industrial waste byproduct of the wood-pulping process - referred to as “black liquor” - is actually an alternative fuel.
  18. Beverly Hills, often noted for its affluence, and the city of Santa Fe Springs will sell $206,426 of their CDBG dollars this year to other cities, in exchange for $145,662 in general revenue.   By selling the block grant for less than it is worth, states and cities free themselves of the program’s requirements and collect other financial benefits.
  19. A Cold War-era program to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has had more money than it can spend – carrying over more from year to year than Congress appropriates for its annual budget. The money has helped recruit new scientists for Russian weapons institutes, contrary to the original intent of the program.  This year, the program received almost $15 million.  For many years during the 2000's, it took in far more than it spent.
  20. NASA has been working on a number of out-of-this-world apps, games, and other entertainment programs to beef up its marketing efforts.  These efforts will cost taxpayers at least $1.6 million.
  21. The U.S. Forest Service gave tribute to Smokey the Bear by spending $31,071 in taxpayer funds to have Smokey Bear BALLOONS at several balloon festivals throughout the American Southwest [UNFRIGGINGREAL!]
  22. Speed reading faces – (WA) $30,000 (As part of the experiment, facial images of men and women who had self-identified on Facebook as gay or straight were flashed for 50 milliseconds before college students, who then guessed the sexual orientation of the faces they were shown [This is important because????]
  23. More than $1 billion overpaid annually for products and services –(Government-wide)
  24. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has allocated $1 million to organizations throughout the country to “read, discuss, and celebrate one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature.” [for a generation that cannot read...]
  25. Nebraska steered $505,000 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc., which specializes in pet shampoo and toothpaste.  The company spent $500,000 for capital improvements, including machinery to manufacture the pet toothpaste and shampoo.
  26. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Commerce are spending over $1.3 million to help the world’s largest snack food maker build a Greek yogurt factory in New York. Last year, PepsiCo Inc. earned net revenues of $66 billion.357 Looking to expand their earnings, the corporation is now teaming up with the German company Theo Müller Group to sell “premium yogurt products in the U.S
  27. Government-funded study finds golfers need to envision a bigger hole – (IN) $350,000 - Purdue University researchers used part of a $350,000 National Science Foundation grant to examine the benefit golfers might gain from using their imagination. [Moving right along....]
  28. Just outside of Portland, Maine, a graffiti artist who goes by the name SUBONE received $13,000 in federal money to create a 33-by-8 foot spray-paint mural at a local high school.
  29. More than ten percent of the bridges in Dayton, Ohio, are deficient as 13 cars drive over one of Dayton’s 184 deficient bridges every second.  Yet, mere miles away from the city, the federal government is spending $520,000 to restore an unused bridge that is not even connected to a road or trail.
  30. Since the creation of managed healthcare plans in Medicare in 1982 – now known as Medicare Advantage (MA) – the federal government has been paying for healthcare services twice for many older veterans. The total bill for duplicate healthcare amounts to over $3 billion, at least one-third of which could likely be saved without affecting the medical care of a single veteran
  31. Indianapolis received a $142,419 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to offer free rides on several bus routes for four days surrounding the event, including game day.  Full fare for the service typically costs $1.75 per ride.  (Prices for Super Bowl tickets easily average $3,000)
  32. The Dallas Independent School District spent $57,000 in federal funds to send about 4,400 fifth-grade boys from 132 schools to watch Red Tails, a film portraying the Tuskegee airmen of World War II.
  33. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded a $40,000 grant to the University of Southern California (USC) to support production costs of a video game based on the writings of Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.
  34. In an effort to prevent drunk driving, the Michigan State Police used $10,000 in federal funds to purchase 400 talking urinal cakes – THAT TALK! “Listen p. That’s right! I’m talking to you. Had a few drinks? Maybe a few too many? Then do yourself and everyone else a favor. Call a sober friend or a cab. Oh, and don’t forget. Wash your hands.”  [THAT would scare you sober, wouldn't it!]  
  35. Federal authorities decided it was a national priority to support cartoonists and comic book artists. The state of Vermont has committed $255,000 of its federal Community Development Block Grant to support a program for graduates of the Center for Cartoon Studies
  36. U.S. Iraqi police training program burns through hundreds of millions of dollars, crashes in flames – (Department of State) $400.2 million
  37. The Civilians, a New York City-based theatre company, received $697,177 from the National Science Foundation to create a musical about climate change and biodiversity.  The musical opened this year at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.
  38. St. Louis is receiving more than $35 million in federal funds for “an old-fashioned style trolley system” that will run on a 2.2-mile line from the Missouri History Museum to the University City Library. The federal funds for the project include a $25 million Federal Transit Administration Urban Circulator grant, a $3.5 million New Markets Tax Credit, and $7.1 million in other federal transportation grants.  The federal amount will pay more than half of the project’s $44 million construction cost.
  39. The U.S. Navy plans to spend over $37 billion to build 55 littoral combat ships (LCS), a new line of light, fast ships that are able to operate in littoral (nearshore) waters.  They will be a major investment for the country in the coming century.  Yet, a decision by the Navy to ask two different companies to build the LCS will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions dollars over the lifetime of the program.  From the four ships being constructed this year, the waste may amount to at least $148 million.
  40. Syracuse University received a $67,926 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to run “Students Against Trash,” a poster contest targeting students in New Jersey, New York, and Puerto Rico
  41. The city of Grants Pass, Oregon, will spend $388,000 in federal money, $77,600 apiece, for five bus shelters along its small, four-route bus system.  In 2009, the city planned to spend $322,000 for between six and ten shelters.  By 2012, however, the price estimate rose to more than $530,000 for only five shelters. That would have put the cost at $106,000 each.  “Around here, that’s enough to build a three-bedroom house,” commented Grants Pass Councilman Dan de Young
  42. YouTube video contest on fruits and veggies – (Department of Health and Human Services) - $106,000
  43. Faulty FEMA calculations lead to building replacement instead of repair – (IA) $75.4 million
  44. The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded $150,000 to the Strong National Museum of Play in New York to create an exhibit featuring board games, toys, and puzzles from the country’s past
  45. Some locals call it the “sidewalk to nowhere” – a 20-block-long sidewalk intended to help kids walk to school.  The sidewalk was funded with $1.1 million from the Safe Routes to School program, but the highway along which it was built is not considered safe by many in the community
  46. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is fond of touting technological advancements the agency has helped develop over the years, such as Velcro, reflective coatings for lenses, and new methods in computing. Despite this progress, NASA continues to operate an outdated and poorly utilized “Lessons Learned” database costing taxpayers over $771,000 every year.
  47. The Alaska Railroad will receive $38.8 million this year and $33 million next year through a federal mass transit program, even after the Senate tried to end the railroad’s funding this year.
  48. In 2012, vineyards and wineries received at least $1.5 million in federal taxpayer funds to assist with their grape-growing and marketing endeavors.
  49. One of the largest federally funded programs – Medicaid – provides billions of dollars in payments to tax cheats who owe millions in unpaid taxes. Almost 7,000 Medicaid providers in just three states owed $791 million in unpaid federal taxes but received $6.6 billion in Medicaid reimbursements in just one year, found a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation.
  50. The federal government continues to move forward with a plan to construct a 600,000-square-foot federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, despite objections from both Democrat and Republican lawmakers and government watchdogs that the project is unneeded.
  51. Pentagon raids weapons program to develop it’s own beef jerky – (Department of Defense) $700,000 – only problem is - the money is coming from a program specially created to equip soldiers with the weapons they need
  52. In the last three years, schools across the nation received $1.6 billion dollars in School Improvement Grants (SIG) from the U.S. Department of Education to improve student performance.  An evaluation of the program in the state of Washington has revealed the program resulted in little to no improvement. Washington public schools will use $7.3 million from the program in 2012 and have gathered over $60 million in the past three years.
  53. This year, identity thieves will collect an estimated $3.9 billion in tax refunds on fraudulent returns they will file using stolen Social Security numbers (SSN).  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released an investigation this year outlining what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) needs to do more to prevent rampant tax fraud. Over five years, taxpayers could lose more than $20 billion to crooks. These losses are largely preventable with better anti-fraud measures.
  54. A Star Wars Day event, held at the Abington Public Library in Massachusetts, was paid for with $365 in federal funds, part of an $11,700 grant provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.



2 comments:

  1. I just. It's. Well, speechless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too..... and Obama claims they cannot cut three cents out of every $10.... *shakes head*

      Delete