When it comes to government incompetence, the first thing that anyone should do is follow the money. Nothing epitomizes government ineffectiveness, ineptitude and wasteful nature than public spending by our esteemed elected officials.
Remember, when a representative at the federal, state or level spends your tax money on something as frivolous as a video game museum, a top of the line hotel room or promotions for specialty hair products for animals, it’s supposedly meant to benefit you, stimulate the economy and generate vast wealth for the entire nation.
Each year, Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn publishes the annual Waste Book that highlights wasteful government spending. These reports are released towards the end of every year, but it would be important and even hilarious to see how the government has already wasted your money in just the first quarter of 2013.
President Thomas Jefferson once said, “I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” I guess he would faint at the sight of such a bloated budget in the United States that is allocated to such utter nonsense.
It doesn’t appear that the federal or state governments will end such questionable investments, spending projects and subsidies. If the U.S. government becomes fanatical over a 2.4 percent reduction in the amount of spending increases then how could one expect the president and the Congress to actually cut spending and stop wasting the people’s money?
In just three months, here are 22 ways the government has already wasted your money.
1. Vice President Joe Biden ran up more than $1 million in hotel bills for himself, his staff and security for two nights in London, England and Paris, France.
2. Alabama Board Chairman Jefferson County Tax Assessor Gaynell Hendricks spent $4,300 of the public’s money on a four-night stay to Washington, D.C. in January. This included $734 per night at a hotel, $106 on dinner and $70 in tips in one day.
3. Roughly $40 billion has been spent so far on the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq since the year began.
4. It is estimated that President Barack Obama’s second inauguration cost $170 million, with the small and private swearing-in ceremony costing $1.25 million.
5. The president has pledged to provide the nation of Jordan with an additional $200 million in aid to help cope with the influx of Syrian refugees.
6. Secretary of State announced in March that the U.S. government would be giving Egypt $250 million. It is the first disbursement of a 2011 pledge made by President Obama of $1 billion.
7. Philadelphia Turnpike Commission Chairman William Lieberman got a brand new Jeep Cherokee at a cost of roughly $40,000, paid for by the taxpayers. He was given the car nine days before tolls were increased for motorists.
8. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) purchased $2 million worth of “No Hesitation Targets,” which depict images of elderly, pregnant women and children holding guns.
9. For a nine-hour trip in January from Washington to Las Vegas, Nevada, the president cost taxpayers $1.6 million just to deliver a speech on immigration.
10. The U.S. government spent a minimum of about $570 million in the first quarter of 2013 for the maintenance of empty buildings.
11. More than $600 million has already been allocated to farmers in order for them not to farm their land.
12. An undisclosed sum of money is being spent this year on a government program to decrease elephant-human conflict. In the past two years, the government has spent $3.8 million on this initiative.
13. Vice President Joe Biden mostly uses Air Force Two (a military version of Boeing 757-200) to get to his home state of Delaware most weekends. A roundtrip from Washington to Wilmington costs the taxpayers around $13,200, since it costs $8,800 per hour to operate.
14. A branding agency was recently awarded a $9.9 million contract to brand, promote and publicize the state of Oregon’s participation in the Obamacare healthcare exchange program. The contract was given to NORTH at a time when the Beaver State faces a $3.5 billion budget deficit.
15. During spring break, the first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama visited the Bahamas. The Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for expense details. Last year, when Malia Obama went to Mexico with 12 of her friends, it cost the taxpayers $115,500.87.
16. The vice president spent $321,665 of taxpayers’ money on a limousine for his visit to Paris in February.
17. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, to dye the White House fountain’s water for St. Patrick’s Day costs $7.99 online and $9.99 on Amazon.
18. The federal government is offering high-paid internships, even though the administration keeps lambasting the sequestration. According to Fox News, the Department of Agriculture is offering $24.16, while a NASA program is willing to pay $83,126 per year for doctoral candidates.
19. On Jan. 17, First Lady Michelle Obama will turn 50 years old and the White House is already in the beginning stages of planning a big celebration. It is estimated that it will be a multi-million-dollar event since Adele and Beyonce have been invited to sing. The taxpayers will be on the hook for a majority of the costs.
20. The National Institute of Health (NIH) gave Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts two grants last month totaling $1.5 million to study why lesbians are fat.
21. The president’s golfing weekend in February with Tiger Woods cost $989,207.
22. Last month, the National Endowment for the Arts invested $25,000 in “In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask,” a program that supports puppetry artists.
If you have any examples of government waste by elected representatives, bureaucrats or public officials from Jan. 1 to Mar. 31, please contact us here or leave a comment in the section below.