Eye opener. Federal Spending analysis by the Heritage Foundation

On February 25th the Heritage Foundation released a 12 page report entitled “Federal Spending by the Numbers 2008.” The report includes overall budget and spending trends, discretionary and entitlement spending along with “pork” projects (also known as “earmarks”). In explaining “earmarks” (on page 10) researcher Brian Riedl states that “earmarking is a corrupting process. It effectively gives individual lawmakers their own pot of tax dollars to distribute to organizations of their choosing. Consequently, politics and campaign contributions now play a larger role in government grant distributions, at the expense of statutory formulas and competitive application processes. The FBI is investigating whether many lawmakers have made earmark decisions for personal profit.”

Let me cite a half dozen illustrations of the 30 wasteful spending examples as found on page 11.

Someone please tell me this first example is a mistake.

1. The Pentagon recently spent $998,798 shipping two 19-cent washers from South Carolina to Texas and $293,451 sending an 89-cent washer from South Carolina to Florida.
This must be a typo. If not every one connected to those decisions should be fired.

2. The National Institute of Health spends $1.3 million per month to rent a lab that it cannot use

3. The Defense Department wasted $100 million on unused flight tickets and never bothered to collect refunds even though the tickets were refundable

4. Congress recently spent $2.4 billion on 10 new jets that the Pentagon insists it does not need and will not use

5. Fraud related to Hurricane Katrina spending is estimated to top $2 billion. In addition, debit cards provided to hurricane victims were used to pay for Caribbean vacations, NFL tickets, Dom Perignon champagne, “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and at least one sex change operation.

6. Audits showed $34 billion worth of Department of Homeland Security contracts contained significant waste, fraud and abuse.

To see or obtain a copy of the report simply go to the following link.


Maybe it’s time to enact Term Limits for the members of Congress who scratch each others backs especially as it relates to the approval of pork projects.

PS: In 2008, the federal government will spend $25,117 per household, collect taxes of $21,604 per household, and run a budget deficit of $3,513 per household. Page 3.

Any questions?

About Larry Gilbert