Once again Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has released his yearly list of wasteful government spending. Number one on his list of the top 100 was the $19 million paid out in salary to government workers who had been suspended from their jobs. In many instances, the workers were still being paid their full salaries to stay home and do nothing for months while allegations against them were being investigated.
Most federal government workers have federal healthcare coverage that includes gym membership. However, the Department of Homeland Security spent $450,000 of your tax money on high-end gym memberships for DHS staff.
As a kid did you ever have the opportunity to have sea monkeys? They are actually a type of tiny brine shrimp that are sold in hatching kits in stores throughout the country. Our government spent $50,000 to study whether or not swimming sea monkeys can change the flow of oceans.
How many of you have sleep apnea? I do. I sleep with a cpap machine every night. A former co-worker opted to have throat surgery to cure her sleep apnea. She went through about a month of pain and misery after the surgery, but once she healed, she doesn’t have sleep apnea nor does she have to use a cpap machine at night. However, more and more veterans are getting disability payments for sleep apnea. According to Coburn, the disability payments for this curable and manageable sleep disorder could reach $1.2 BILLION.
The Agriculture Department used $500,000 of your tax dollars to provide a grant to help American Indians start raising and selling butterflies. Every Indian in the reservation town was provided with enough money to purchase a butterfly starter kit. So far only 50 of the 845 tribe members have taken advantage of the grant.
The government also spent $199,999 to study compost digested by worms and $10,000 went to a children’s theater group in Oregon for the production of Zombie in Love. Let’s not forget that they spent $46,000 to pay for a snowmobile competition in Michigan. Another $414,000 was spent to upgrade a military video game which is part of the recruiting project that is already $25 million over budget.
Taxpayer dollars were also used to pay for a rabbits to be massaged at Ohio State University, to teach people how to laugh and $10,000 for electricity lineman to dance on telephone poles.
My favorite was the $856,000 the government spent to train mountain lions to walk on treadmills. What practical purpose is there for such a project?
In this year’s Wastebook, Coburn only lists 100 items that tally up to $25 billion in wasteful spending. To that I would add the billions of dollars being used to rebuild mosques in the Middle East and foreign aid to nations who only want to destroy us.
With a national debt of over $17 trillion, our federal government should be forced to start living within its means and stop wasting money on frivolous things. The American people should demand that they live within their budget, or should I say they need to learn that they can’t spend what they don’t have.
Just think of the jobs and industries that could be created if we started keeping our money at home and stop spending it on mountain lion treadmills and rabbit massages. Millions of Americans would find jobs, get off welfare and support their families. Unemployment would really go down and the economy would really boom.