In his 2013 report on government spending, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has some harsh words for Congress:
“Had Congress, in particular, been focused on doing its job of setting priorities and cutting the kind of wasteful spending outlined in this report, we could have avoided both a government shutdown and a flawed budget deal that was designed to avert a shutdown,” Coburn says. “The nearly $30 billion in questionable and lower-priority spending in Wastebook 2013 is a small fraction of the more than $200 billion we throw away every year through fraud, waste, duplication and mismanagement. There is more than enough stupidity and incompetence in government to allow us to live well below the budget caps. What’s lacking is the common sense and courage in Washington to make those choices — and passage of fiscally-responsible spending bills — possible.”
Some of the stuff Coburn would like to stop:
The Popular Romance Project: $1 million was spent by the National Endowment of the Humanities since 2010 “to explore the fascinating, often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance as found in novels,” etc. (No, I’m not trying to be funny.)
Uncle Sam granting tax breaks to Nevada’s legal brothels: $17.5 million
“The Benefits of a Good Night Sleep”: $1.7 million to the Senate Office of Education and Training for “lifestyle training” for staffers
“Pillownauts”: NASA is paying 20 people $18,000 each to do nothing.