Stupid Spending by the Suits

Absurd government expenditures


Overspending by the government and a stupid-death story (like something you'd see on Jay Leno about a guy getting drunk and trying to wrestle a grizzly bear) have one thing in common.

You can't help but laugh when you hear about it, and yet part of you is sad.

We certainly have that feeling after reading Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn's report on ways that the government wasted money in 2012–everything from pottery to golf to the circus. Here are some of the high (low) lights from that report:

  • • $4.5 billion spent on junk food, luxury drinks, soap operas and illegal food stamp payments.
  • • $27 million spent on Moroccan pottery classes to improve the "economic competitiveness of Morocco."
  • • Almost $1 million spent by NASA to study the best foods astronauts can eat if we ever travel to Mars.
  • • $350,000 spent on a government-funded study on how golfers can improve their game by using their imagination.
  • • $49,477 spent on Smokey the Bear (only YOU can prevent forest fire) balloons.
  • • $10,000 spent by the Michigan State Police (in federal funds) on talking urinal cakes in an effort to prevent drunk driving.
  • • $11,700 spent on a Star Wars Day event at a Massachusetts public library.
  • • $20,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts went to fund circus classes.
  • • $100,000 spent by the U.S. State Department to send an American comedy group on a seven-city tour of India.
  • So you know the big point of the story: don't rely on the government to fix your problems since they spend money like this.

    But while the stuff you might blow money on isn't as ridiculous as talking bathroom equipment or circus lessons, there are most likely places in your budget that could use a serious look. If you don't use something, or you could use a less expensive version of it, why would you keep paying too much for it?

    Look through your spending plan tonight and see exactly what you put your money toward. If you have a premium cable package, ask yourself how often you watch those extra channels. If the answer is "Hardly ever," then cut back to basic cable and save some money. Don't pay a lot just to know that the "premium" channels are there. You'll notice the cash in your bank account a lot faster than you'll notice that those rarely-watched channels are gone.

    Same goes for a health club membership that you use once a month or a car that you can sell to be rid of the payment. Your money can go so much further if you look at what you actually use and stop your spending at that point.

    If only the government could learn the same thing.

    Source: Yahoo!

Reader Comments (6)

This is an excellent article. In addition to these ridiculous expenses, the feds are wasting billions overseas through the DOD and DOS.
Member at 8:13 AM, October 30 2012
This story would be better if it highlighted the useless expenditures made by individuals in their own homes. As a 35 year veteran of local government, I can tell you that ALL of the offices with which I was affiliated worked hard, very hard, and smart, very smart to eke out the very best benefits for the population within our bailiwick. It's always so easy, however, to find and to blame that scapegoat rather than to look inward.
Member at 11:20 AM, October 30 2012
No mention of excessive and wasteful military spending I see.
Member at 3:07 PM, October 30 2012
I also agree with you, "Member". I have worked at many Federal and state level goverments,here and overseas, over the years. Most VERY frugal with the taxpayer money and work hard to serve the public to the best they can. There is always waste, both in the government and at home. The biggest waste I have seen is in the DOD arena.
Member at 7:07 AM, October 31 2012
Privatize everything. There's no waste like government waste. No accountability.
Member at 8:10 AM, October 31 2012
Govt definitely wastes money. I had a family member once that worked for govt for a few months as a computer expert. After about a month they didn't have work for him so he was told to bring a book and read for the day. Very wasteful...he ended up leaving cuz he didn't feel right wasting taxpayers money.
Member at 10:02 AM, October 31 2012