Unbelievable ways the U.S. Government wastes money.
The U.S. federal government spends approximately $25 billion each year maintaining buildings that are seldom used or completely vacant. Since 2002, directly in the center of Washington D.C. within ear shot of the Capitol building, sits an unused property worth $100 million – a Capitol punishment to tax payers.
We owe China approximately 21% of our $16.7 trillion debt yet we spend $17.8 million each year on environmental and social programs – in China. America spends $2.6 million yearly to teach Chinese call girls how to drink responsibly. Might I suggest that scads of quixotic American men would selflessly take on this daunting task at no charge.
Buried amidst the muddy waters of the Sandy Relief Act, $100 million of pork barrel federal money was allotted to the Head Start Program. A recent controversial study by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on the benefits of Head Start was released. Although there were noted positives, they found that the program had little academic benefit by the end of third grade – a learning moment indeed.
In 2011 federally subsidized Amtrak has taken us all for a ride at a cost of $84.5 million in losses from their food and beverage services alone. If that isn’t a kick in the caboose, they’ve lost $833.8 million in a 10 ten year span – an altruistic train wreck.
$11 million was spent by the Pentagon and CIA for psychics to foresee international threats to America. Predictably, this was a futile exercise in all things paranormal.
The Conservation Commission of Monkton, Vermont, vetted and received a federal grant of $150,000. This award was for a safe reptile crosswalk tunneled beneath the road with signs indicating where it is located. Assuming we will subsidize reading lessons for the salamanders, the family shall tirelessly survive without feeling run down.
Without congressional authority, $19.6 million is allocated annually to Ireland’s International Fund. These funds support their renowned cross country pony-trekking rides and golf videos. While Irish eyes are smiling, American eyes remain closed.
$27 million was allotted to Morocco to teach artisans how to make pottery. An American pottery trainer was sent there but his translator was barely fluent in English and the students were inattentive at best. The materials the trainer used are not available in Morocco – perhaps a Coloradan pot handler would’ve fared better.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees are given government credit cards to supply farmers with subsidized purchases. A recent study of 300 USDA workers found that 15% had abused their cards for personal purchases tallying $5.8 million. Some items included were car payments, tattoos, Ozzy Osborne concert tickets, lingerie, cash advances, and school tuitions. What’s in your wallet?
Then we have the coveted RoboSquirrel that cost us $325,000. The National Science Foundation was granted the cash to study how rattlesnakes would react to the robotic squirrel lookalike. It would take a real nut to find this squirrel palatable.
Indiana’s Purdue University received a grant that would make any RoboSquirrel envious. The National Science Foundation granted $350,000 to the Boilermakers to study the benefits golfers experienced from utilizing their imagination more efficiently – unimaginable, but par for the course.
Three things our U.S. Federal bureaucracy does terrifically are create, collect, and spend tax revenue. Unfortunately our governance is egregiously intemperate with the latter – “two out of three ain’t bad.”