December 17 2013
“While politicians in Washington spent much of 2013 complaining about sequestration’s impact on domestic programs and our national defense,” said Senator Tom Coburn, “we still managed to provide benefits to the Fort Hood shooter, study romance novels, help the State Department buy Facebook fans and even help NASA study Congress.”
Senator Coburn was releasing his Wastebook, an annual list of wasteful, low-priority federal spending. There were 100 projects totaling $30 billion in spending on this year’s list. Here are some highlights:
- The State Department spent $630,000 to "buy fans" on Facebook and Twitter.
- The USDA shelled out $415,000 on fine wines in China.
- Though it hasn't paid out death benefits to the Fort Hood victims' families, DOD paid the shooter, Nidal Hasan, $278,000 in benefits before his guilty verdict.
- The Army National Guard paid $10 million for "Superman" movie tie-ins.
- A million bucks since 2010 from the National Endowment of the Humanities has been used to explore multimedia romances throughout history.
- The USDA cut housing assistance for the elderly while subsidizing more than 100 homes - at $500,000 each - within walking distance of the ocean in Hawaii.
- And last on our list, but certainly not least: $319 million was spent to build the problematic Healthcare.gov. It is expected that the government will spend at least twice that much on advertising and publicity for ObamaCare.
Oh, and I don't want to leave out the duck penises: Yale University spent a $384, 989 grant from the National Science Foundation studying “the oddity of the duck penis.”
According to the NSF website, the project entitled “Conflict, Social Behavior and Evolution” was intended to better understand duck reproductive activity, with the goal of also better understanding human relationships.
It also notes the project will, “incorporate high school students from under-represented minorities.”
The key finding of the study was the corkscrew-like shape of a duck’s penis, which can be resisted by female ducks through their own biological design. “This is literally anti-screw anatomy,” quipped leadresearcher Richard Prum.
Wouldn't it be nice if the taxpayers had a Congress that would prevent us from being screwed?