Federal spending ranging from a $48,500 grant to study tobacco use in Russia to $5 billion in fraudulent income tax returns are detailed in U.S. Sen. James Lankford's report on government expenditures.
The 145-page report, which was released Monday, is titled Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball.
We've compiled a list of the top 10 examples of wasteful government spending:
- The Department of Defense Task Force for Business and Stability Operations spent $43 million to build a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan. Not only was the station rarely used, it is no longer in operation. (page 9)
- The National Institutes of Health has spent $2.6 million on a weight-loss program for truck drivers. (page 17)
- This fiscal year, the National Science Foundation is spending nearly $375,000 to study the dating habits of senior adults. (page 77)
- The National Endowment for the Arts is spending $683,000 on art-related programs, including funding for silent adaptations of Shakespeare's Hamlet. (page 10)
- Due to the IRS's failure to maintain accurate death records, the Social Security Administration believes that millions of Americans are alive who have actually passed away. (page 83)
- The Department of Agriculture's inflexible and unnecessarily burdensome regulations for llama owners and their businesses have put some of them out of business. (page 28)
- Over the last two years, the Department of Defense has spent about $4 million per Syrian (rebel) to train them to fight against ISIS. (page 21)
- The Department of Agriculture will spend $100 million to subsidize corn-ethanol gasoline research, even though there is no market demand for the product. (page 113)
- Thousands of Americans incorrectly receive both Social Security Disability Insurance and Unemployment Insurance. Fixing this could save $5.7 billion over 10 years. (page 56)
- This year, the Department of Defense is spending $283,500 to study the day-to-day activities of the gnatcatcher, a very small woodland bird. (page 19)
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