Senator Tom Coburn Releases 2013 "Wastebook"

By:  Bob Adelmann
Senator Tom Coburn Releases 2013 "Wastebook"

In a press release Tuesday, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) announced the publication of his annual "Wastebook," which highlights Congress’ “most egregious spending” while at the same time distancing himself from the big spenders and ear-markers in Congress who provided fodder for his book:

While politicians in Washington spent much of 2013 complaining about sequestration’s impact on domestic programs and our national defense, we still managed to provide benefits to the Fort Hood shooter, study romance novels, help the State Department buy Facebook fans and even help NASA study Congress....

What’s lacking is the common sense and courage in Washington to make those choices — and passage of fiscally-responsible bills — possible.

Coburn then provided some teasers out of the 100 examples in his "Wastebook":

The Popular Romance Project has received nearly $1 million from the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) 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....

The military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of useable vehicles and other military equipment [in Afghanistan] ... rather than sell it or ship it back home....

In January, 2013, Congress passed a bill to provide $60.4 billion for [victims of] Hurricane Sandy. However, instead of rushing aid to the people who need it most, state-level officials ... spent [$65 million of it] on tourism-related TV ads....

Since NASA is no longer conducting space flights, they have plenty of time and money to fund ... the “Green Ninja” in which a man dressed in a Green Ninja costume teaches children about global warming.  

While promoting his book recently on CBS News, Coburn tried to distance himself from any responsibility for such “egregious spending” by asking rhetorically: “Where was the adult in the room when this was going on?” Interviewer Nancy Cordes then asked if any of his previous editions of "Wastebook" had made any impact or had reduced or eliminated any of the more outrageous examples of waste:

Click here to read the entire article.

Photo of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) presenting his 2013 Wastebook: AP Images

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