In the grand tradition of Festivus — everyone’s favorite “Seinfeld” holiday — 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul partook in the airing of grievances by releasing The Waste Report Monday, highlighting the year’s best examples of questionable federal spending.
The Kentucky Republican listed 30 instances of taxpayer dollars being spent frivolously by dubious programs, similar to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and former Sen. for Oklahoma Tom Coburn’s Wastebook released earlier in December.
“Happy Festivus! Once again, the federal government found new and inventive ways to waste the tax dollars of hard-working Americans this year,” the report reads. “The Waste Report has highlighted many examples, totaling more than one billion dollars worth of wasteful spending, misplaced priorities, and bad management.”
The list includes nearly $25,000 to build the Smokey Bear Laundromat at the Lincoln National Forest, $13,000 given to the Department of Energy for treadmills and a $250,000 grant to send 24 Pakistani children to six days of space camp in Alabama followed by a trip to Dollywood, an amusement park named after country singer Dolly Parton, on their way to Washington, D.C.
“Our investigations into federal spending may not have uncovered any government contributions to something called The Human Fund (Money for People), but we did find Uncle Sam putting taxpayer dollars to work creating a foreign made-for-TV cricket league, paying for federal yoga classes, developing a climate change video game, and studying whether being in space changes the effectiveness of golf clubs,” the senator says in the report.
Paul notes examples of government waste can be found on the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management website all year.