The federal government is spending at least $294 billion of taxpayer money this year on hundreds of expired programs.
The 19-page “America’s Most Wasted” report is the first in a series of oversight studies from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) meant to highlight examples of wasteful and duplicative government spending.
McCain identified $1.1 billion in wasteful spending on projects that included an Army research study into the bomb-detecting abilities of elephants, puppet shows in Vermont and the creation of a dog bite prevention website, among others.
The $294 billion that is being spent on expired programs stems from a report the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released in January. Last year, the government spent $302 billion on unauthorized projects.
“I believe the 'America’s Most Wasted' reports should serve as a wake-up call to Congress and the American people keep their government accountable by demanding an end to wasteful government spending,” McCain said in a statement.
The report found that the Army is spending $50,000 to research whether elephants in South Africa can detect bombs.
It also found that the Social Security Administration has issued more than $225 million in overpayments to more than 106,000 students. Children with a deceased, retired or disabled parent have access to these benefits until they graduate or turn 19. McCain’s report said $2.5 billion in benefits is provided to 4.4 million children nationwide each month.
The National Guard has spent $49 million on advertising deals with professional sports leagues to support recruiting, the report found.
The government is also spending $14 million on a program at the Department of Agriculture to develop a catfish inspection office even though the Food and Drug Administration already has one.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the report said, awarded a grant worth nearly $391,000 to a university to develop a website to teach children about dog bites.
Another $15,000 grant issued by the Environmental Protection Agency was given to a university to study pollution that emanates from backyard barbeques, the report said.
Elephant bomb detection? Puppet shows? A dog bite website? A backyard barbeque pollution study? And the government spent hard-earned taxpayer dollars on these things, why?
$294 billion wasted by the government on expired projects and programs. And the government wants MORE money to spend? Spend more, waste more. Waste more, want more.