Garbage can full of money tipped on its side with money spilling out

5 outrageous ways the federal government has wasted your money (Part IV)

Jul 6, 2018 by AFP

Congress just spent $1.3 trillion on a massive omnibus package. The national debt is ballooning.

In the meantime, the federal government has wasted your hard-earned money on…studying the social habits of monkeys?

It’s true. Read on to discover these five egregious examples of how the government has wasted your money, as documented by Sen. James Lankford in his 2017 Federal Fumbles report.

$85 million wasted building an unfinished hotel in Kabul

A Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report shows the Overseas Private Investment Corporation loaned $85 million to a contractor for construction of a hotel and apartment complex in Kabul, Afghanistan. The project was never completed.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office later found that OPIC inspects fewer than 10 percent of the projects it funds and does not require employees conducting inspections to report back in a timely manner.

This lack of accountability to the American people and wastefully spending tens of millions of tax dollars is horrifying.

In the future, groups like OPIC would do well to put the American people first when considering how to spend our hard-earned money.

$1.04 billion wasted to expand a trolley

In late 2016, the Department of Transportation gave San Diego a $1.04 billion grant to expand the city’s trolley service…by a whopping 10.9 miles. DOT estimates a total of 24,600 people might ride the trolley each day.

More than $1 billion is a crazy amount of taxpayer money to spend on such a small group of people, compared with the millions who use America’s highway system.

The federal government should be more judicious with taxpayer funds in the future when determining grants for America’s transportation system.

$55 billion wasted preserving outdated technology

The federal government spends $80 billion on technology-related expenses every year.

The GAO found that in 2015, federal agencies and departments spent $55 billion of that budget on preserving older technology, rather than using newer and more efficient forms of computing and storage.

American taxpayers deserve to know their money is being spent efficiently and responsibly.

By spending billions of dollars to prop up old technology, rather than investing in faster, cheaper and more efficient technology, the federal government is doing a disservice to our nation.

$1.6 billion wasted on vehicles the government probably doesn’t need

The federal government has spent $1.6 billion of your hard-earned tax dollars buying 64,500 cars, vans and trucks at an average cost of $25,600 each.

The problem? The federal government already owns nearly 450,000 vehicles, and a GAO report found there is no way to determine whether all vehicles owned by the agencies are actually in use.

It’s likely that the federal government is buying vehicles it doesn’t need and paying to keep vehicles it doesn’t use. When the federal government is already overspending, government agencies should strive to use our tax dollars efficiently rather than making unnecessary and redundant purchases.

$1.2 million wasted researching the social habits of monkeys

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health spent $1.2 million on the taxpayer’s dime to develop “comfortable collars” with tracking devices for monkeys to study the primates’ social habits.

While it’s possible to learn something from studying our furry friends, spending more than $1 million is more than excessive – it’s bananas.

It’s time for the federal government to stop monkeying around with our tax dollars.

Wasteful federal spending is a serious problem, and lawmakers need to address it.

Our national debt has now hit $21 trillion and continues to spiral upward as the federal government spends billions of your hard-earned tax dollars on assorted pet projects. It’s time for the feds to rein in federal spending, starting with the FY 2019 spending bills.

An update on wasteful government spending (2021)

Since this post was published in 2018, the national debt has risen to more than $28 trillion, a number that will only escalate if something isn’t done to rein in the government’s lax spending habits.

The latest spending boondoggle is a $4 trillion “infrastructure” proposal, the details of which Congress and the White House are currently hashing out.

Here’s what you need to know about their so-called “infrastructure” plan:

  • Less that 5 percent of the spending would go toward actual infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.
  • Paying for it would require historic tax increases of more than $2.75 trillion.
  • Nearly 85 percent of the businesses targeted by these tax increases are small businesses employing fewer than 20 people.
  • The plan contains costly provisions that would hurt our health care, worker freedom, energy, and agriculture.

Thankfully, you can help. Americans across the country are banding together to End Washington Waste and stop the spending spree that’s throwing our hard-earned tax dollars down the drain.

Americans for Prosperity's campaign to End Washington Waste and stop the spending spree

Learn more and join the campaign today before another cent is wasted!