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 Wastebook 2013 edition 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Wastebook 2013 edition
Sen Tom Coburn has released the latest edition of this 'Wastebook' where he lists govt waste. You can find the report

Here's a Politico piece on it and what they say are the 'Top 10 most eyebrow-raising expenditures':

Politico wrote:
Tom Coburn ‘Wastebook’: $125K 3-D pizza

By LUCY MCCALMONT | 12/17/13 11:50 AM EST Updated: 12/18/13 9:22 AM EST
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn released his annual “Wastebook” on Tuesday, outlining 100 examples of what he calls egregious federal spending totaling $30 billion. From defense equipment to the downright bizarre, the Oklahoma senator highlights it all in his latest report. He started the reports in 2010. Here is a list of the top 10 most eyebrow-raising expenditures:

1. $125,000 3-D pizza: NASA gave a $124,955 grant to Arjun Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a small company hoping to build a 3-D pizza printer as part of space-exploration mission supplies. However, NASA scientists say the research will take time, and it could be years before the technology becomes feasible.

2. $914,000 to research Team Edward: The Popular Romance Project has received $914,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities since 2010, Coburn says. The project is expanding its website, which provides research into the origins of romance and its depiction in popular culture, including novels, Internet fan fiction and advice books. Coburn notes that the website currently provides analysis into the pop hit “Call Me Maybe” and the debate over fictional characters from “Twilight,” the young-adult series.

3. $17.5 million in brothel tax exemptions: Coburn says that through the tax code, $17.5 million has gone to brothels in Nevada that have claimed tax exemptions for everything from breast implants to “free passes” that were deemed part of promotional costs and eligible for deductions by the IRS.

4. $50 million “Google searches”: Coburn attributes $50 million to National Technical Information Services, an agency that charges for reports that often can be found for free through a Google search. Coburn calls NTIS, which is part of the Department of Commerce, antiquated, as it was created at a time when information wasn’t as readily available. He noted that about 74 percent of its reports had information available in public sources. Additionally, a CD-ROM for which the agency charges $79 contains information that is also available for free on the Internet.

5. $297 million “Mega-Blimp”: The Army’s “mega-blimp,” or Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, project was halted this year as spending nearly reached $300 million after more than three years of development. Coburn says it was sold back to the contractor for only $301,000. Intended for use in Afghanistan, it made only one trip, a 90-minute flight over New Jersey.

6. $360,00 bed-rest study: NASA is paying 20 people $18,000 each to spend 70 days lying in bed. As part of a bed-rest study, they have to have their bodies tilted slightly downward but are free to play games or watch TV. NASA has assured that they do not want “couch potatoes,” instead calling the individuals “pillownauts” whose participation will help in research on what astronauts’ bodies go through in weightlessness.

7. $285,000 for rock ’n’ roll: For the first time, the federal government’s “trade arm” funded the music industry as the American Association of Independent Music received $284,300 this year from the International Trade Administration. The funding allowed 12 music label executives — joined by one government official — to travel to Rio to promote music in foreign markets. Coburn, calling it the “the Indie Rock Music Execs World Tour,” says the group also had a side trip to Sugarloaf Mountain.

8. $10,000 “Pole” dancing: Through a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a group called PowerUP Project features the linemen and electrical technicians of an Austin, Texas, power company who engage in performance art in a choreographed “ninety minute dance with bucket trucks, cranes and field trucks, and a set of 20 utility poles, all set before a live audience.”

9. $65 million Sandy emergency fund ads: Despite passing a bill in January to provide $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy relief, $65 million has been used by New York and New Jersey for tourism ads while only one person in Staten Island, as of October, received housing assistance. New Jersey, launched its “Stronger than the Storm” marketing campaign which features Gov. Chris Christie, who also appeared with the Snooki of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” in May for events aimed at drawing visitors for the tourism season.

10. $125,000 comic superheroes documentary: To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the debut of Superman, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts financed the production of a documentary, “Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle,” looking back at the history of comics and their impact. It aired as a three-part series on PBS. Coburn’s report notes that the project has received three federal grants totaling $825,000 over the past three years.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/t ... z2nqrefpSl
Yesh, just gotta love all the ways those morons in DC can find to waste, er spend our tax dollars. ](*,)

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December 18th, 2013, 2:24 pm
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Post Re: Wastebook 2013 edition
Gotta love bipartisan at its finest!

This is why I am against pretty much every single newly proposed gov't program. This is why I am against bigger gov't in general. This is why I am against both Coke and Pepsi. Your votes hard a work wasting our hard earned money if you voted for a Dem or Rep...

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December 18th, 2013, 3:04 pm
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Post Re: Wastebook 2013 edition
I hate lists like these.

They trivialize government waste. They make it seem like, "hey, if we just get rid of a few dumb projects that aren't that important, we'll be fine."

The problem is much bigger than that. Entitlement programs need to be slashed. The military budget needs to be cut in half.

Getting rid of projects like these are no-brainers, but it's like saying to someone that weighs 400 lbs "just cut out soda" -- the problem is far more fundamental and much more severe.


December 18th, 2013, 5:49 pm
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Post Re: Wastebook 2013 edition
Blueskies wrote:
I hate lists like these.

They trivialize government waste. They make it seem like, "hey, if we just get rid of a few dumb projects that aren't that important, we'll be fine."

The problem is much bigger than that. Entitlement programs need to be slashed. The military budget needs to be cut in half.

Getting rid of projects like these are no-brainers, but it's like saying to someone that weighs 400 lbs "just cut out soda" -- the problem is far more fundamental and much more severe.

I tend to agree, but I think it's good to point out the wasteful side of government. I haven't looked at his full list yet, so I need to do that before passing judgement on it. Remember this is just Politico's choice of the most "most eyebrow-raising expenditures" so it may not be exhaustive. But I get your point, and as I said I tend to agree.

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December 19th, 2013, 4:35 am
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Post Re: Wastebook 2013 edition
I hate the lists too, because the details often leave out the full details of said programs.

Quote:
$65 million Sandy emergency fund ads: Despite passing a bill in January to provide $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy relief, $65 million has been used by New York and New Jersey for tourism ads while only one person in Staten Island, as of October, received housing assistance. New Jersey, launched its “Stronger than the Storm” marketing campaign which features Gov. Chris Christie, who also appeared with the Snooki of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” in May for events aimed at drawing visitors for the tourism season.


Staten Island not receiving housing assistance is a FEMA problem as well as NY's emergency management problem, not something related to advertising. And While NY is a big city that probably doesn't need much help advertising itself, The Jersey shore on the other hand is chock full of towns that wouldn't exist if not for summer tourism. And the outlying towns are successful only because of increase in summer revenue from overflow of people that travel through as well. A lot of the area is still a disaster area, and there are businesses that were landmarks when I was a child that will never return.

A lot of the things on that list can be considered waste, but the promoting tourism in a place that lost millions in revenue this year, would have seen a bigger drop in tax revenue from the state if they weren't done. Even with the ads, revenues were down 40%. Next year should bounce back, which will return that $65 million and more in the revenue back into the system, unlike a 3d pizza, google searches or sleep studies.

I know it probably sounds homerish to defend a local issue, but think if something similar happened in Detroit. If the auto industry was destroyed in a freak accident. If people didn't know it was back up and running after they reopened, the revenues lost during that transition would be worse if they didn't advertise that they were back. Billions lost in tax revenue is worth the small investment upfront.

EDIT

On an unrelated to lists, but related to Sandy issue... The shore areas are heavily republican, even in the predominantly blue state, and many felt slighted at the policies regarding FEMA after the storm. Summer rentals have been a staple business for decades on the shore. Obama blocked any assistance for 2nd or 3rd homes, so that means most of the homes along the shore would have to be rebuilt on the homeowner's dime. We're not talking about people buying real estate and flipping homes, we're talking about people using those homes as a place of business. And they got nothing.


December 19th, 2013, 9:59 am
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Post Re: Wastebook 2013 edition
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And they got nothing.


Good.

People who choose not to live in natural disaster-prone areas shouldn't be forced to subsidize those who do.


December 19th, 2013, 10:45 am
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Post Re: Wastebook 2013 edition
After thinking about it more, that post has legitimately pissed me off, njroar.

"Boo hoo! The Feds won't give me any free money to rebuild my second or third home."

Cry me a ****ing river.


December 19th, 2013, 11:22 am
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Post Re: Wastebook 2013 edition
I'm not talking about homes that the rich have as summer homes or vacation spots, I'm talking about homes that are their businesses. Every other small business qualifies for loans, and they don't even get that. They just flatly said, it's a house, that's it. I'm not talking about "We'll rebuild it for you money," I'm talking about loans to get back on their feet.

NJ is not a natural disaster prone area. The frequency of storms that hit land at this force above NC is once every 35 years. And hurricane insurance doesn't cover it because it wasn't a hurricane when it hit. And flood insurance doesn't cover that much. Most of the areas that flood actually weren't rated as flood areas, because they have NEVER had this happen. The barrier island is expected, but inland, they had to redo all the flood areas, just because of this storm.


December 19th, 2013, 2:10 pm
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