Budget Boondoggle Awards

Posted: Oct 17, 2007 5:30 PM

Yesterday I joined by Rep. Paul Ryan and other members of the Budget Committee and the Republican Study Committee to announce the creation of the “Budget Boondoggle Award”.  This prestigious honor is reserved only for the most outrageous examples of misuse of taxpayer dollars, unnecessary earmarks, and duplicative and ineffective programs across the Federal system.

In my opinion these are some of the most glaring examples:

The Award for the Most Duplicative, Ineffective, and Inappropriate Programs

Technological Corporate Welfare (Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Bill).

  • The Advanced Technology Program [ATP] is recognized as one of the worst forms of corporate welfare, and the President has proposed to eliminate it.
  • As of 2005, 39 Fortune 500 companies had received a total of $732 million in ATP subsidies, with IBM alone receiving $127 million.
  • One survey showed that 65 percent of ATP applicants did not even bother trying to procure private funding before lining up at the “Federal trough.”
  • Although authorizing legislation terminates the program, this appropriations bill still funds it at $93 million for fiscal year 2008.

The Award for Most Government Waste

More FEMA Funds Squandered (Homeland Security Appropriations Bill).

  •  FEMA spent $3.5 million to melt $24 million worth of ice it had purchased but did not need – for an “ice-capade” totaling $27.5 million.
  • Fraudulent FEMA payments cited by the Government Accountability Office (GAO)include:      
    1. $17 million in rental assistance paid to individuals to whom FEMA had already provided free housing in trailers or apartments;
    2. $20 million in duplicate payments to thousands of individuals who claimed damages to the same property from both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita;
    3. Housing to 10 individuals in apartments in Plano, TX, while these individuals received $46,000 to cover out-of-pocket housing expenses.

Stay tuned for more examples of waste, fraud, and abuse of your tax dollars.