from the Table of contents
1. Politicians Partying on the Taxpayer Dime (Presidential Election Campaign
Fund) $35.38 Million
2. Mangled Mango Effort Could Hurt Farmers It Meant to Help (Pakistan)
3. Poor Planning Hobbles Air Force Green Energy Effort (Department of
Defense) $14 Million
4. Subsidy Program for Small Airports Fails to Help Most Recipients Achieve
Sustainable Air Service (Federal Aviation Administration)
5. Paying for Pancakes (Washington, D.C.) $765,828
6. The Super-Bridge to Nowhere (Alaska) $15.3 Million
7. Dead Federal Employees Continue to Get Benefits Checks (U.S. Office of
Personnel Management) $120 Million
8. Extreme Home Makeover: Federal Highway Funds to Transform Abandoned
―Rock House‖ into Visitors Center (Oklahoma) $529,689
9. Video Game Preservation (New York) $113,277
10. Millions In Foreign Aid to
China? (Department of State & U.S. Agency for
International Development) $17.80 Million
Robot dragons, video games, Christmas trees, snow cone machines, and chocolate.
This is not a Christmas wish list. These are just some of the ways the federal government spent
your tax dollars this year.
Over the past 12 months, Washington politicians
argued, debated and lamented about how to reign
in the federal governments out of control spending.
All the while, Washington was on a shopping
binge, spending money we do not have on things
we do not need, like the $6.9 billion worth of
examples provided in this report. The result:
Instead of cutting wasteful spending, nearly $2.5
billion was added each day in 2011 to our national
which now exceeds $15 trillion.
Congress deadlocked over whether or not savings
could be found by closing loopholes within the
complex tax code. Meanwhile, the IRS approved
roughly $1 billion in tax credits intended for energy
efficiency home improvements to individuals who
did not even own a house. These recipients
included prisoners and children, some probably not
even old enough to own a doll house.
While Congress bickered over whether or not the
salaries of federal employees should be frozen, the
federal government paid $120 million to federal
employees who were deceased.
Congress cannot now even agree on a plan to pay for the costs of extending jobless benefits to
the millions of Americans who are still out of work. Yet, thousands of millionaires are receiving
unemployment benefits and billions of dollars of improper payments of unemployment
insurance are being made to individuals with jobs and others who do not qualify.
And remember those infamous bridges to nowhere in Alaska that became symbols of
government waste years ago? The bridges were never built, yet the federal government still
spent more than a million dollars just this year to pay for staff to promote one of the bridges.
Drowning in red ink, Congress refused to agree to reduce, cut, or eliminate any of these
Washington monuments of government waste.
President Obamas debt commission did issue recommendations to reduce the deficit by more
than $3.5 trillion over the next decade. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a
report identifying over $200 billion in unnecessary, duplicative programs. But these suggestions
and others were ignored by both chambers of Congress and the President.
Congresss deficit of courage to make tough budget decisions is best reflected by what it did
agree to. The so-called Budget Control Act approved adding more than $2 trillion to the nations
already staggering debt. The Super Committee it created to address the debt crisis was a super
disappointment. And, the House and Senate
appropriations committees also agreed to slash the
budget of GAO, the one government agency that
distinguished itself by identifying hundreds of billions
of dollars in budget savings.
This report details 100 of the countless unnecessary,
duplicative, or just plain stupid projects spread
throughout the federal government and paid for with
your tax dollars this year that highlight the out-ofcontrol and shortsighted spending excesses in
So perhaps there was no bigger waste of the
taxpayers money in 2011 than Congress itself. The
dismal 9 percent approval rating, the lowest ever
recorded, would indicate the vast majority of
Americans would agree.
The year 2011 will be remembered as a period of unrest as outraged Americans of all political
stripestea party patriots on the right and Occupy Wall Street activists on the lefttook to
the streets in anger and disgust with the direction of our nation. As you look at these examples,
regardless of your personal political persuasion, ask yourself: Would you agree with
Washington these represent national priorities or would you agree these reflect the wasteful
spending habits that threaten to bankrupt the future of the American Dream?