Ten Ways Congress Is Blowing Taxpayer Money from Tom Coburn's 'Wastebook'

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn from Oklahoma, who just released his annual "Wastebook," calls it a "compilation of about $30 billion of stupidity, incompetence, and waste." 

This amount of waste is particularly high considering the Ryan-Murray budget could only muster up 23 billion in budget cuts over the next ten years. Coburn says this is the “fifth or sixth” year that he has been doing the book. 

Coburn told CBS news: 

Other congressman don’t pay attention to it [The Wastebook] because it is hard work to get rid of junk. Its hard work to do oversight, its hard work to hold the agencies accountable, so what they would rather do is look good at home, get re-elected and continue to spend money. And that’s Republican and Democrats alike.

Some of the government wasted spending includes:

  • $13.6 billion in false claims for Earned Income Tax Credits in 2012. The IRS is projected to make improper payments for up to 28 percent of the more than $55 billion in EITC payments. (p.124)
  • $1.5 billion to keep the lights on in unused and underutilized federal buildings (p.58)
  • $1 million to construct a bus site in Virginia, (p.33)
  • $5 million for customized crystal stemware (p.74)
  • $7 billion dollars of military equipment being destroyed because troops are being pulled out of Afghanistan (p.14)
  • $1 million on a website that called “True Romance that celebrated movies, books and pop-songs" (p.7)
  • $450,000 to famous Alaskan Amber brewing company to help them install an environmentally friendly boiler, even though in 2012, the company’s sales increased to 140,000 barrels of beer up 11% from 2010 (p.86)
  • $3 million paid to NASA employees to attend seminars on how congress works p.(43)
  • 3.6 Billion dollars in unpaid income taxes from federal employees and retirees (p.84)
  • $400,000,000 paid to government employees to do nothing during the recent government shutdown (p.3)

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