Study: Waste Could Fund up to 45,000 Years of White House Tours
A study from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) shows the federal government's needless spending and costly regulations waste over $42 billion dollars–enough to fund up to 45,000 years of White House tours.
After the White House announced that its public tours would be one of the first government functions to be shut down due to the budget sequester's slowdown of spending increases, conservatives have highlighted government spending on inconsequential projects ranging anywhere from puppet research to snail sex.
The NRCC has compiled a "waste list" totaling $42,642,721,597 from its findings. Some of its expenditures include:
- Dancing iPhone robots–$547,430: "Part of a $547,430 grant from the National Science Foundation went to the development of a dancing robot that connects to an iPhone."
- Talking urinal cakes–$10,000: "Federal funds were used to purchase 400 anti-drunk driving talking urinal cakes."
- YouTube video contest–$106,000: "$106,000 was spent on a YouTube video contest to promote eating fruits and vegetables."
- Cupcakes–$2,000,000: "10 cupcake stores received $2 million in taxpayer-funded loans."
- "Healthy food" initiative - $32,000,000: "$32 million was spent to increase access to healthy foods in low-income communities with no measurable result."
- Robot squirrels–$325,000: "Researchers received part of a grant to construct robotic squirrels to test if they are attacked by rattlesnakes the same way real squirrels are."
Conservative estimates say the shutdown of tours saves Washington $18,000 a week, or $936,000 per year–.002% of the $42 billion in waste. If President Barack and Obama and Congress eliminated the waste shown in the study, the savings would fund White House tours for over 45,558 years.
In an interview with ABC News, President Obama insisted the Secret Service made the decision to cancel White House tours and not his administration. He signaled that he is open to resuming tours for student groups but has not taken any action in over two weeks to follow through.