Outrageous Waste by a Government Out of Control
Americans believe that more than half of all federal spending is waste, according to Gallup--51 cents out of every dollar to be specific. This is one of those points on which so-called experts can marshal all kinds of figures to show that ordinary Americans are wildly off-base--and the experts will be stupider for it.
Americans have the good sense to recognize that bureaucracies--big, dead weights of incompetence which get more money the more things they propose to control--will almost inevitably spend most of their time and most of our money on activities that are either useless or flat-out harmful. In many cases, we’d be better off not if the programs just operated more efficiently, but if they didn’t exist at all.
For the past five years, Senator Tom Coburn did a great service to taxpayers by publishing his annual Wastebook, a catalog of many of the most outrageous examples of government waste. When he retired at the end of last year, it seemed impossible to replace his vigilant and humorous defense of taxpayers’ money.
Thankfully, the task has been taken up by Senator Jeff Flake, who has published the 2015 edition of the Wastebook, 290 pages detailing extravagantly dumb government spending. The 100 examples in this year’s collection would be hilarious if they weren’t so outrageous, and if the savings of ordinary Americans weren’t the funds being wasted.
Examples in this year’s wastebook include:
These are just a few of the dozens of items included in this year’s Wastebook, which themselves add up to only a tiny fraction of the waste that occurs in the federal government. Each of these examples should be a scandal in its own right. And yet not one of them makes a dent in the public debate, not even a gas station that costs 80 times what it should
Read Senator Flake’s wastebook and ask yourself: if our federal bureaucracy is so sick it can produce all of these examples and more in a single year, isn’t it time to get serious about fixing it?