Coburn report identifies nearly $7B in wasteful government spending

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

A new report from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) identifies $6.9 billion in government waste.

Among the report’s outline of wasteful spending were more than $35 million in wasteful spending on political conventions, $14 million on an Air Force green construction project that was victim to “poor planning,” and $4.68 billion identified by the final report of the Commission on Wartime Contracting on contracting waste in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The report — entitled ‘Wastebook: A Guide to Some of the Most Wasteful and Low Priority Government Spending of 2011 — also identified spending on video game development, robot dragons and magic museums.

“This is not a Christmas wish list. These are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars,” Coburn wrote in the report’s introduction.

Among the other findings in the report:

  • Documentary about how rock and roll contributed to the collapse of Soviet Union ($550,000)
  • Study examining connections between cocaine and risky sex habits of quail ($175,000)
  • Grant for museum on the history of skiing ($86,000)
  • Coast Guard Mardi Gras float ($24,000)

The report also pointed to wasteful spending on federal pay and benefits.

“While Congress bickered over whether or not the salaries of federal employees should be frozen, the federal government paid $120 million to federal employees who were deceased,” Coburn said.

In June, President Obama signed an executive order to eliminate “pointless waste” and “stupid spending” in government. The plan directs Vice President Joe Biden to meet regularly with Cabinet secretaries to monitor progress.

Associated Press contributed to this story.


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