wasteful government spending

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Wasteful Government Spending: Walls That Melt in the Rain, Catfish Inspectors, and More

With a national debt of $18.4 trillion, you'd think that tracking down and eliminating wasteful government spending would be more of a U.S. priority.

In the tradition of retired Sen. Tom Coburn, two lawmakers, Rep. Steve Russell, R-OK, and Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, are now publishing examples of government waste.

Here are 11 hard-to-stomach instances of wasteful government spending...

Wasteful Government Spending: "The Book Washington Doesn't Want You to Read"

Wasteful government spending

Unfortunately, wasteful government spending never goes out of style. All the proof you need is right there in the latest "Wastebook" from Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

This year's edition - Coburn's fifth and sadly his last as he plans to retire at the end of the current Congressional session - contains $25 billion in wasteful government spending.

Here are 14 mind-boggling examples of misused taxpayer dollars from the 2014 Wastebook...

Wasteful Government Spending 2013: Who Spends $1 Million on a Bus Stop?

Most Americans can't afford to waste their hard-earned money on expensive things they don't need. But their representatives in Congress have made a habit of doing just that with taxpayer money - to the tune of $30 billion in the last year alone. Among other things, they blew $1 million on a high-tech bus stop in Virginia and $415,000 to train "wine educators" in China.

What is Congress thinking?

Wasteful Government Spending: Duplicate Programs Squander Billions

So many federal agencies are duplicating one another's efforts in so many different areas that the billions lost to such wasteful government spending is impossible to calculate.

A recent report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office uncovered 162 areas of duplicate spending, which at minimum wastes tens of billions of dollars every year.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, a well-known hawk on wasteful government spending, estimates that the duplication cited in the GAO report squanders between $100 billion and $200 billion a year.

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Sequestration Cuts Hit Cancer Patients While Billions Wasted

As of April 1, cancer clinics began turning away thousands of Medicare patients because of sequestration spending cuts while the University of Iowa is using almost $900,000 of taxpayer money to study whether there is any benefit to sex among New Zealand mud snails.

It's taken about a month, but the mandated federal spending cuts of sequestration have finally started to have a real impact.

Not as dire an impact as President Barack Obama warned about in the weeks preceding the sequester, but the consequences are growing more serious every day.

But what's most galling about all this is that despite the real harm the sequestration cuts are causing, wasteful government spending has continued unabated.

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Federal Budget Deficit Climbing Dangerously Higher on Continued 2011 Government Spending

On the heels of U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address - during which the commander in chief highlighted the need for investment in innovation - a steep federal budget deficit projection yesterday (Wednesday) showed the harsh reality of the U.S. government's spending spree.

In the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) economic outlook report, the nonpartisan body estimated the budget deficit would reach $1.5 trillion in 2011, or 9.8% of gross domestic product (GDP). The report cited the Bush-tax-cut extension, low production, and a weak labor market as key factors for reducing revenue, increasing spending and pushing the deficit higher in fiscal 2011.

This year's federal budget deficit is up from $1.3 trillion in 2010 and $1.4 trillion in 2009. The deficits, when measured as a percentage of GDP were the largest since 1945, reaching 8.9% in 2010 and 10% in 2009.

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