Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Government Waste

A highly incomplete, but still infuriating, list of government waste in 2011.

Some examples:

  • Republican and Democratic Party conventions: $17.7 million (each) 

  • A mango-production program for Pakistani farmers that was abandoned after one year and caused many farmers to default on loans taken out in anticipation of increased productivity: $30 million 

  • A project to convert three Air Force radar stations from diesel to wind energy that has since been abandoned: $14 million

  • The construction of an IHOP in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Columbia Heights (which Coburn refers to as "pancakes for yuppies"): $800,000

  • A promotional video for an Alaskan bridge that very well might not get built, titled 'The Knik Arm Crossing, Bridge to Our Future": $57,390 (out of $15.3 million spent this year on the bridge) 

  • Pension payments to dead federal employees: $120 million

  • A fourth visitors center on the 54-mile Talimena Scenic Drive that runs between Talihina, Oklahoma (Pop. 2,522) to Mena, Arkansas (Pop. 5,637): $529,689

  • Funding for video game preservation at the International Center for the History of Electronic Games: $100,000

  • Aid to China, the U.S.'s biggest lender, for social and environmental programs: $17.8 million

  • Seed money for the "drug-themed" Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakery in Austin: $484,000

  • "Celebrity Chef Fruit Promotion Road Show in Indonesia": $100,000

  • Funding for Pakistan's Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop to create "130 episodes of an indigenously produced Sesame Street": $10 million 

  • Research funding for the American Museum of Magic to "better understand its various audiences and their potential interest in the history of magic entertainment": $147,138

  • Energy efficient home improvement tax credits for children, prisoners, and other people who do not own homes: $1 billion

  • Research funding for a study to determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behavior: $175,587

  • (h/t Reason)

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