Senator’s report details wasteful federal spending

Thursday, October 18, 2012
Chris Woodward (

A new report sheds more light on just how tax dollars are being wasted and brings up the question why nothing is ever done to curb this problem.


The aptly-titled Wastebook from Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma highlights more than $18 billion in wasteful spending, including a $325,000 grant for the development of a robotic rodent, designed to test the interaction between rattlesnakes and squirrels, and $1.5 billion a year to subsidize a free cell phone service. That's on top of minting pennies that cost two cents to make, while NASA forks over $1 million annually to develop foods for people to eat for one day on Mars. Meanwhile, Coburn says Congress is 2012's biggest waste of taxpayer money.

The annual report from Coburn is being well received, but it is not the only document of its kind that is issued by members of the House or Senate. These findings keep coming out -- but the money keeps getting spent.

Sepp, Pete (NTU)Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, says it is difficult to reduce the wasteful spending precisely because the problem is so widespread.

"Unfortunately, there are so many items in the federal budget, so many wasteful activities going on that we might focus on a few of them for a day and then train our eyes on some other part of the government, but the spending just keeps piling on and on," he tells OneNewsNow.

"Plus, there are many interests here in Washington, DC, that want to keep the federal spending spigot open."

It is a problem that even Coburn admits, saying "all of the outrageous and wasteful contents of this report were made possible by either action or lack of action by Congress."

The lawmaker also singles out the Senate Budget Committee for failing to produce a budget, and the Senate Finance Committee for failing to provide any major tax code or entitlement legislation this year.

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