The top 10 government ‘boondoggles’


The GOP’s Tom Coburn of Oklahoma — aka the Senate’s Dr. No — has become famous for his “annual wastebook,” which points out what he calls needless government spending.

He’s been fighting cancer and recently announced plans to leave the Senate. So in something of a swan song, he’s written an account for Politico of the top 10 most wasteful government programs he came across while in office.

They are …

10. Handouts for Pro Athletes and Team Owners
Coburn says: “Americans are paying artificially high tax rates to essentially provide welfare for athletes like Tiger Woods, NFL team owners like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who earns $29.5 million a year. All of these people are indirectly subsidized by the non-profit tax status their decidedly for -profit leagues enjoy.”

9. The Turtle Tunnel

A $3.4 million wildlife “eco-passage” was planned in Florida to help critters cross a road.

8. The Pentagon’s “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” symposium

$100,000 was allocated for a strategy planning workshop

7. The RoboSquirrel

$325,000 was spent to study how heat signatures in squirrel tails confused rattlesnakes

6. Shrimp on a Treadmill

$500,000 to study, yup, crustaceans on treadmills.

5. Unemployment Payouts to Millionaires

The system is “bilked out of at least $30 million each year,” the senator says.

4. The Adult Baby

Guy who liked to behave like a baby collected disability payments. Why, the senator asked the Social Security Administration.

3. Duplication Nation

Superfluous federal programs cost $200 billion per year.

2. The Woodstock Museum

An $1 million earmark to build a museum dedicated to that 1969 concert.

1. The Bridge to Nowhere

An earmark authorized $452 million to build two bridges in Alaska.

Read in depth here.