Sen. Coburn's annual "Wastebook" reports $30 billion in waste

Sen. Coburn's annual "Wastebook" reports $30 billion in wasted spending

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The front page of Sen. Tom Coburn's 2013 Wastebook report. The front page of Sen. Tom Coburn's 2013 Wastebook report.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, M.D., a ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has released his annual oversight report that he says finds $30 billion in wasteful spending.

Senator Coburn reports finding 100 examples of low-priority spending that he says contributes to benefits to the Fort Hood shooter, studies romance novels, and buys Facebook fans for the State Department.

The following is a sampling of what the Senator called 'low priority':

$914,000 - Uncle Sam Looking for Romance on the Web (NEH)
Sen. Coburn says the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) has contributed nearly $1 million to the project since 2010 to "explore the fascinating, often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance as told in novels, films, comics, advice books, songs, and internet fan fiction, taking a global perspective—while looking back across time as far as the ancient Greeks."

$7 billion - Mass Destruction of Weapons (Department of Defense)
Sen. Coburn reports the military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of useable vehicles and other military equipment worth more than $7 billion.

$3 million - NASA Searches for Signs of Intelligent Life … in Congress
The Senator says NASA will spending $3 million to figure out how Congress works.

$65 million - Hurricane Sandy "Emergency" Funds Spent on TV Ads
In January 2013, Congress passed a bill to provide $60.4 billion for the areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy. However, Sen. Coburn reports instead of rushing aid to the people who need it most, state-level officials in New York and New Jersey spent the money on tourism-related TV advertisements.

Read the entire 177 page report here.

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