Annual survey of wasteful government spending

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) recently released Wastebook 2013, his annual survey of wasteful spending by the federal government. Coburn identified 100 projects that cost taxpayers nearly $30 billion. Among the top offenders were:

  • Between sequestration, furloughs, shutdowns, and the “least productive” Congress in history, taxpayers spent $400 million to pay people not to work.
  • Over the next 10 years, the Army’s Total Force will have to be reduced by at least 100,000 – yet the Army National Guard spent $10 million on a “Soldier of Steel” tie-in with the Superman movie, “Man of Steel.”
  • The Popular Romance Project has received almost $1 million in funds from the National Endowment of the Humanities since 2010, to explore the origins and influences of popular romance.
  • With the war effort in the Middle East winding down, the Dept. of Defense destroyed $7 billion in weapons rather than selling them or shipping them home.
  • The National Institute of Health spent over $325,000 for a study to “find out wives should calm down” when they’re angry at their husbands;
  • The National Science Foundation awarded a $150,000 grant to a North Carolina company to develop a math learning game based on the zombie apocalypse.

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