Senator Coburn’s waste line — $11.5 billion in 2010 spending
Republican Senator Tom Coburn has released his “Wastebook 2010″ report, a list of government spending that adds up to over $11.5 billion which he considers wasteful.
It includes burping cows, Vidalia onions, a 2,500-year-old mummy, and finding love on the Internet.
“Even those lucky enough to have jobs have had to tighten their belts. Yet, Congress continues to find new and extravagant ways to waste tax dollars,” Coburn said in a statement.
Report highlights include:
— “The National Science Foundation provided more than to $200,000 to study of why political candidates make vague statements.”
— “This year, taxpayers forked over $60,000 for the ‘first-of-its kind’ promotion of the Vidalia onion in conjunction with the movie, Shrek Forever After. ”
— A $700,000 federal grant for researchers to examine greenhouse gas emission from organic dairies caused by cow burps, among other things.
— “The National Science Foundation directed nearly a quarter million dollars to a Stanford University professor’s study of how Americans use the Internet to find love.”
— “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) took the term ‘cold case’ to a new level in 2010. The agency spent over $20,000 in taxpayer money ‘to unravel the anonymity of a 2,500-year-old mummy’.”
— A Department of Energy inspector general report points out that DOE could save over $2.2 million in electric utility operating costs annually by turning off the lights and using more efficient technology.
Other lawmakers had other opinions about Coburn’s list.
“Well there’s lots of waste in the government, that’s true, but Senator Coburn never mentions the outstanding things that we do in the government, that senior citizens, soldiers, veterans depend on,” Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” show. “You can’t just use a meat axe, you have to use a scalpel, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
So, how much did Coburn’s report cost to print?
“Zero,” his spokesman John Hart tells us. “We didn’t make a single printed copy. There’s something called the Internet.”
Photo credit: Reuters/Hyungwon Kang (Capitol dome after snowfall, Dec. 16)