CAGW Praises Sen. Coburn’s Wastebook 2014

WASHINGTON--()--Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) reacted with enthusiasm to the release of Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) “Wastebook 2014: What Washington Doesn’t Want You To Read,” the last edition before his early retirement from the Senate after a decade of outstanding public service in the Senate and six years in the House on behalf of the citizens of Oklahoma and all American taxpayers. The popular report, which Sen. Coburn has released every year since 2010, details 100 examples of the federal government’s unnecessary, duplicative, and low-priority programs totaling $25 billion. Noteworthy expenditures in the Wastebook 2014 include:

  • $4.2 billion vaporized annually by the Internal Revenue Service when the agency pays out fraudulent refunds to thieves who stole the identities of unsuspecting taxpayers;
  • $3 billion lost when beneficiaries of the Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) traded their benefits for drugs, alcohol, and cash;
  • $468 million thrown away after the Department of Defense scrapped a fleet of 16 G222 planes for $0.6 per pound of steel, recouping a mere $32,000 for aircraft that were supposed to be an integral part of the Afghan Air Force;
  • $19 million wasted on troubled and underperforming government employees who received paid administrative leave after abusing the taxpayers’ money by purchasing alcohol, sending explicit images on government-issued computers, and passing out on the job after a night of partying;
  • $856,000 blown on an eight-month National Science Foundation study to teach three captive mountain lions to use a treadmill;
  • $387,000 squandered to research how Swedish massages affected 18 New Zealand white rabbits who were euthanized upon the study’s completion; and
  • $47,000 frittered away on undergraduate “comedy” courses at two U.S. public universities to explore “the nature of human laughter and humor.”

“This blatant waste of tax dollars, while written in an entertaining and cogent manner, is no laughing matter. Sen. Coburn and his tireless staff, who work year-round to put the Wastebook together, have been steadfast fiscal watchdogs identifying alarming amounts of government waste, exposing fiscally irresponsible federal agencies, and demonstrating just how out of touch Washington is with the real needs of taxpayers,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Each Wastebook has vividly illustrated the challenges taxpayers face when official Washington chooses to protect and expand mismanaged government spending programs and allies itself with the special interests rather than those of the people who pay their salaries. Sen. Coburn has never forgotten that the hard-earned money of every taxpayer deserves to be spent effectively and efficiently rather than wasted on frivolous expenditures. CAGW is extremely proud to have been his ally in that cause and plans to carry that banner forward.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

Contacts

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)
Alexandra Booze, 202-467-5318
or
Leslie K. Paige, 202-467-5300

Contacts

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)
Alexandra Booze, 202-467-5318
or
Leslie K. Paige, 202-467-5300