Every year since 2010, Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn has issued his “Waste Book” report highlighting the worst 100 ways Congress wastes taxpayer dollars. This year, the abuse of collected monies totals $17.9 billion.
For example, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, and the Professional Golfers’ Association each avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes every year because they are somehow allowed to classify themselves as non-profit organizations. The NFL made 9 billion dollars last year and paid it’s Commissioner, Roger Goodell, more than 11 million dollars.
“We have some of the biggest corporations in America paying no taxes whatsoever,” Coburn told ABC News today. “You know something is wrong with the [tax] code.”
Another example is the researchers at San Diego State University and University of California, who spent $325,000 of their National Science Foundation grant making a robotic squirrel.
NASA is currently spending nearly $1 million a year researching food for astronauts to eat on Mars, even though there are no plans for a manned mission to the planet.
Meanwhile the FAA gives the Lake Murray State Park airport in Carter, Okla., $150,000 a year despite the fact that the airport provides a runway for just one flight a month. Oklahoma’s Aeronautics Commission which spends less than 1 percent of that funding on the Murray airport itself, admits that it only keeps the airport open so it can funnel the money to other airports and projects.
“Is there anybody in the world who would say ‘No thanks government! We don’t want this money?’” OAC Commissioner Wes Stucky told ABC News.
“We put that [example] in there to show people how stupid the federal government is,” Coburn said. “We have a system that says you can collect money because you have an airport open even though nobody uses it so you can collect money to spend on other airports. Why wouldn’t we have a smarter system?”
Coburn says his report is proof that Congress, despite all the talk about government spending and the fiscal cliff, is still wasting as much money as ever.
“Every family in America has been struggling for the last three or four years and they’ve made hard choices. Congress refuses to make the hard choices,” Coburn said.
With no major accomplishments this year and a trillion dollar deficit, the Waste Book lists Congress itself as waste of money.
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