50 Examples of Government Waste

The Heritage Foundation
October 8, 2009

4. Government auditors spent the past five years examining all federal programs and found that 22 percent of them–costing taxpayers a total of $123 billion annually–fail to show any positive impact on the populations they serve.

7. Washington will spend $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.

18. Despite trillion-dollar deficits, last year’s 10,160 earmarks included $200,000 for a tattoo removal program in Mission Hills, California; $190,000 for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming; and $75,000 for the Totally Teen Zone in Albany, Georgia.

19. The federal government owns more than 50,000 vacant homes.

20. The Federal Communications Commission spent $350,000 to sponsor NASCAR driver David Gilliland.

21. Members of Congress have spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars supplying their offices with popcorn machines, plasma televisions, DVD equipment, ionic air fresheners, camcorders, and signature machines–plus $24,730 leasing a Lexus, $1,434 on a digital camera, and $84,000 on personalized calendars.

49. The Conservation Reserve program pays farmers $2 billion annually not to farm their land.

50. The Commerce Department has lost 1,137 computers since 2001, many containing Americans’ personal data.

Read the complete list at The Heritage Foundation.

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