Wastebook 2011

Wastebook 2011

by United States Government US Senate, Senator Tom Coburn M.D.
     
 
Dear Taxpayer,
Robot dragons, video games, Christmas trees, snow cone machines, and chocolate.

This is not a Christmas wish list. These are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars this year.

Over the past 12 months, Washington politicians argued, debated and lamented about how to reign in the federal government's out of control

Overview

Dear Taxpayer,
Robot dragons, video games, Christmas trees, snow cone machines, and chocolate.

This is not a Christmas wish list. These are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars this year.

Over the past 12 months, Washington 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 need, like the $6.9 billion worth of examples provided in this report. The result: Instead of cutting wasteful spending, nearly $2.5 billion was added each day in 2011 to our national debt, which now exceeds $15 trillion.

Congress deadlocked over whether or not savings could be found by closing loopholes within the complex tax code. Meanwhile, the IRS approved roughly $1 billion in tax credits intended for energy efficiency home improvements to individuals who did not even own a house. These recipients included prisoners and children, some probably not even old enough to own a doll house.

While Congress bickered over whether or not the salaries of federal employees should be frozen, the federal government paid $120 million to federal employees who were deceased.

Congress cannot now even agree on a plan to pay for the costs of extending jobless benefits to the millions of Americans who are still out of work. Yet, thousands of millionaires are receiving unemployment benefits and billions of dollars of improper payments of unemployment insurance are being made to individuals with jobs and others who do not qualify.

And remember those infamous bridges to nowhere in Alaska that became symbols of government waste years ago? The bridges were never built, yet the federal government still spent more than a million dollars just this year to pay for staff to promote one of the bridges.

Drowning in red ink, Congress refused to agree to reduce, cut, or eliminate any of these
Washington monuments of government waste.

President Obama's debt commission did issue recommendations to reduce the deficit by more than $3.5 trillion over the next decade. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report identifying over $200 billion in unnecessary, duplicative programs. But these suggestions and others were ignored by both chambers of Congress and the President.

Congress's deficit of courage to make tough budget decisions is best reflected by what it did agree to. The so-called Budget Control Act approved adding more than $2 trillion to the nation's already staggering debt. The Super Committee it created to address the debt crisis was a super disappointment. And, the House and Senate appropriations committees also agreed to slash the budget of GAO, the one government agency that distinguished itself by identifying hundreds of billions of dollars in budget savings.

This report details 100 of the countless unnecessary, duplicative, or just plain stupid projects spread throughout the federal government and paid for with your tax dollars this year that highlight the out-of-control and shortsighted spending excesses in Washington.

So perhaps there was no bigger waste of the taxpayer's money in 2011 than Congress itself. The dismal 9 percent approval rating, the lowest ever recorded, would indicate the vast majority of
Americans would agree.

The year 2011 will be remembered as a period of unrest as outraged Americans of all political stripes-tea party patriots on the right and Occupy Wall Street activists on the left-took to the streets in anger and disgust with the direction of our nation. As you look at these examples, regardless of your personal political persuasion, ask yourself: Would you agree with Washington these represent national priorities or would you agree these reflect the wasteful spending habits that threaten to bankrupt the future of the American Dream?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781494768027
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
12/21/2013
Pages:
98
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.20(d)

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