The office of Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has released the 2011 edition of its annual “Wastebook.” The document spotlights 100 particularly ridiculous expenditures of taxpayer money from the past year. From an entertainment standpoint, it’s pure gold. But it’s also infuriating, depressing, and a painful reminder of what happens when politicians and bureaucrats spend other people’s money.
Here are my five “favorites”:
Yes, the money involved here amounts to pocket change in comparison to the $3.7 trillion the federal government spent last year. But as Coburn asks in the introduction, “Do these initiatives match your understanding of the role of the federal government as outlined by the Enumerated Powers of the U.S. Constitution?” Worthy or not, very little of what the federal government spends money on comports with the Founders’ vision of a national government that was to be strictly limited in its scope. That the money is often poorly spent is proof that their intentions were wise.
Check out DownsizingGovernment.org for more information on many of the agencies and programs cited in the Coburn report.
Tad DeHaven is a budget analyst on federal and state budget issues for the Cato Institute.
Wife of US Pastor Held in Iran: 'I Never Thought I’d Have to Battle My Own Gov't For My Husband’s Freedom' | Leah Barkoukis
Politifact: On Second Thought, Obama's 'Keep Your Plan' Pledge is 2013's 'Lie of the Year' | Guy Benson
Conservatives Clash as House Prepares to Vote on Ryan-Murray Budget Deal -- UPDATE: House passes 332-94 | Guy Benson
New White House Push: Sign Up For Obamacare Because It Will Give Your Mother "Piece of Mind" | Daniel Doherty
Heartbreaking: Dad Gives Up Trying to Obtain Health Insurance For His Ailing Son on the Exchanges | Daniel Doherty