I've been thinking about a post by Ben Howe about a terrible government program that has spent 20 million dollars to save the troubled exotic catfish but has yet to do anything particular regarding said catfish. When I talk about these kinds of wasteful programs the response I get is usually something along the lines of "Ending that wont help anything, its chump change." As I mentioned in that post, that 20 million dollars is more money than I will EVER pay in taxes in my entire life. Further, 40% of that 20 million is borrowed, making it even more expensive due to interest on debt. That's not chump change. That's an insult to me personally. I decided to look up other waste in the government and now I am not sure whether to cry or smash my computer.
To begin with since its fresh in my mind, the US Anti Doping Agency receives $9,000,000 a year from my taxes. They've done a great job of consistently sucking and abusing their power. I think we can stop wasting my money on them.
The Pentagon proposed $48,700,000,000 in cuts for their budget (487 BILLION over 10 years). Lawmakers actually fought this and placed much of it back in the budget. Programs they're trying to keep are:
Global Hawk ($2.5 Billion over 5 years)
Cancelling the C-27J ($400 million)
M1-Abrams upgrades (listed as 100's of millions, but lets keep it right at 100 million)
East Coast missile battery to protect against Iran ($100 million and completely unneeded)
If we figure these down to their per year costs assuming their total cost is over 10 years when it isnt specified, by removing this spending we save $560,000,000 next year alone. Remember, these are programs the Pentagon has clearly stated are unnecessary. Also of note, many of the above programs are from Ohio alone.
We can reduce improper payments in Medicare by the tune of $47,900,000,000 in one year alone.
We can reduce the amount of money the federal government spends on pointless travel by 50% saving $7,500,000,000 a year.
We are paying $200,000,000 a year to private corporations to advertise our products overseas.
$400,000,000 on an unnecessary courthouse.
$150,000,000 Cotton subsidy to...drum roll... Brazil.
I had to stop at this point b/c I just got extremely angry. I could go on and on and on. People like the National Taxpayers Union and Citizens Against Government Waste actually have detailed breakouts of wasteful programs. Look them up on twitter.
The grand total of the above program cuts are $56,719,000,000. None of that gigantic waste is controversial or sacred. If we want to talk about cutting serious spending where the real meat is like entitlements, we have to got to cut the small garbage out first to even sound serious when making the argument. I didn't want to touch anything sacred to demonstrate how EASY it would be to rein in so much wasteful spending. The closest I came to a sacred cow was illegitimate medicare payments that everyone agrees are not justifiable expenditures. I can't even wrap my head around how we're paying billions of dollars to people for absolutely no reason at all. Its depressing. I could talk about the billions wasted on bailouts or on His Eminence's crony green energy programs but its too early in the day to start drinking.