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‘The Waste Report’ Details $50 Billion in Questionable Government Spending

questionably government spendingIn his Summer 2019 edition of The Waste Report, U.S. Senator Rand Paul details more than $50.2 billion of government spending that he says wasted hard-earned taxpayer money.

Paul, R-Kentucky and chairman of the Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management (FSO) Subcommittee for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, argues the ongoing waste of taxpayer money is a national security issue that must end.

Among the items highlighted in the report is $2 million “to increase trust between Tunisian political parties and citizens (State),” in addition to $1.4 billion already sent to Tunisia since 2011.

“What makes [the U.S. State Department] believe $2 million more will succeed where $1.4 billion has failed?” Paul asks.

More than $2 billion has been spent to convert an abandoned mental hospital (St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, an historic landmark) into a Department of Homeland Security headquarters (GSA and DHS).

“Rest assured there will be legislative action taken to ensure this boondoggle does not continue to waste taxpayer dollars,” Paul said.

Taxpayer money also supported a $10 million “Green Growth” initiative in Peru, $100,000 for the Pakistani film industry, and $46,991 to study frog mating calls in Panama.

The report points out that, according to the U.S. State Department, the Pakistani film industry is growing dramatically. If this is the case, Paul asks, “Why do Pakistanis need American tax dollars to further build its capacity? Why are Americans responsible for paying to make Pakistani films better?”

“Simply put,” he answers, “Americans are not responsible, but their State Department is intent on wasting their hard-earned money anyway.”

The report points to the U.S. debt crisis of more than $22 trillion, compounded by a 10-month deficit of $866 billion that is projected to rise to over $1 trillion by the end of the fiscal year.

“As we deal with this crisis and also wrestle with paying for actual priorities, do we really want government funding studies of a non-endangered frog’s mating habits?” Paul asks.

Federal taxpayer dollars also funded fraudulent claims, the report notes.

More than $5.3 million of taxpayer money funded false claims for Superstorm Sandy in New York City, and $48 billion went toward improper Medicare payments.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has deemed the Medicare program a “High Risk Program,” since 1990, the report notes. Additionally, more than 80 GAO recommendations remain unfulfilled, including 28 recommendations from its 2017 through 2019 High Risk Lists.

“Improper payments fundamentally undermine the effectiveness and stability of federal programs, and Medicare itself is already in a precarious position,” Paul adds, pointing to a CMS prediction that the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund will be entirely depleted by 2026.

Taxpayers also funded $150,000 worth of English and IT skills teaching at Madrassas, and $51,722,107 for Google Scholar searches in Hawaii, according to the report.

“When it comes to wasteful spending, the federal budget is a target rich environment,” Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of OpenTheBooks.com, told The Center Square. “Senator Paul should be commended for doing the hard work of oversight. Identifying examples of waste creates downward pressure on spending, which is exactly what Washington needs.”

OpenTheBooks.com has uncovered billions of dollars of taxpayer money wasted by the U.S. government. Its most recent report found that the U.S. Small Business Administration made more than $24 billion in loans to non-small businesses, the majority of which defaulted.

Reprinted with permission from - The Center Square - by Bethany Blankley

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Carol Trotter

I can only hope & pray Sentor Paul continues to expose & stop this ridiculous & wasteful use of our hard earned money.

Amelia Little

I appreciate Sen. Paul and the committee’s work at exposing the waste of our money. My problem is–so we now know–but what is being done about it? Can’t demand the return of money from Pakistan or Tunisia or even Iran or the frog “researchers.” One thing I remember obama campaigning on (can’t remember which one) was to get rid of all the pork in bills. Am not sure what happened with that. Anyway, each bill should stand on it’s own–written concisely instead of thousand of pages of extraneous garbage. We should not ALL have to foot the bill for the transit systems in NY and CA (gee-how much was spent and it’s not even done?) There is much that should be the responsibility of each state, instead of issues that are included in bills to entice congressmen to vote for it. Anyway, it’s important for us to know to the… Read more »

gil munz

We need term limits to stop the pet projects!!

Frank S.

None of this should surprise anyone. It’s the result of big government run amuck. The Founders NEVER intended for the Federal government to be involved in nearly everything. Why you ask? Because they understood human nature. They knew that unscrupulous people would find a way to make money off the government and that the bigger the government the less transparency and accountability. We citizens now have grown so accustomed to this sort of thing that we just throw up our hands and say “Oh well”! We the People are getting exactly the government we deserve. This is what happens when people no longer care about the long term, and instead only focus on what they perceive to be best for themselves. Ultimately these abuses are not the government’s fault; rather, it is the fault of the voters that elected (and keep re-electing) the self-serving fools that are now in the… Read more »

Donald G

TERM LIMITS, RANDOM DRUG SCREENS FOR ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, 10 YEAR PROHIBITION FROM WORKING FOR ANY LOBBYING GROUP AFTER LEAVING OFFICE.

Herman E. Johnson

Since the SS Fund owns a large portion of our National Debt, I would like to know how much interest is paid into the SS Fund? Or, does every one else who owns shares of the National Debt gets paid interest and the SS Fund does not?

LaDonna Lee

It is “WE THE PEOPLE” tax dollars. WE THE PEOPLE should have a say in what the government spends it on. Get term limits and stop the madness!

dino

This corruption should NOT be tolerated.The idiots that feed this fiasco should be investigated and held accountable.And by the way I live in the corrupt state of Illinois.There needs to be an investigation here to because the scummy dense oc RATS have a chokehold on our state.