True or false: Washington will spend $2.6 million to train Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job. Or how about a Congressional earmark of $200,000 for a tattoo removal program in Mission Hills, California. Add in $500,000 to Alaska Airlines to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing 737.
According to Brian Riedl, a respected veteran of the Heritage Foundation, all of the above are unbelievably true. In fact, his article titled "50 Examples of Government Waste" is an eye-opener. We’ve not hesitated to point out government inefficiency at various levels, but this documented lineup of wasteful and unnecessary spending is something to behold.
Riedl calls government waste the "low-hanging fruit that lawmakers must clean in order to build credibility with the public for larger reforms." He admits, however, that "identifying inefficencies and abuses is much easier than devising a system to fix them."
A few others from the hit list:
- Washington spends $25 billion annually maintaining unused or vacant federal properties.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission spent $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
- The Pentagon recently spent $998,798 shipping two 19-cent washers from South Carolina to Texas and $293,451 sending an 89-cent washer from South Carolina to Florida.
- The federal government owns more than 50,000 vacant homes
- Washington has spent $3 billion re-sanding beaches–even as this new sand washes back into the ocean.
- The National Institutes of Health spends $1.3 million per month to rent a lab that it cannot use.
- The Commerce Department has lost 1,137 computers since 2001, many containing Americans’ personal data.
Check out the entire list, but my guess is you will (and should) either be angry or at least frustrated beyond belief.