Senator Tom Coburn is a collector. Every year he amasses a list of the most wasteful and what he calls “Low Priority Government Spending” that adds up to big bucks.
This year is no exception. He has uncovered $3.3 million to bail out a failing Alaska tourist boat that he says is “sinking private business”; $505,000 to promote specialty hair and beauty products for cats and dogs; and our personal favorite, $97,000 for floating outhouses for Oregon fishermen. (We know this is a drop in the bucket.)
With the federal government chalking up trillion-dollar deficits four years in a row, it will take a lot more than eliminating $11,700 for “Star Wars Day” from the budget to solve the fiscal crisis.
Still, every dollar counts when you’re trying to save money, and Coburn has been the champion of fiscal prudence. In all, his 2012 "Wastebook" includes 100 projects costing $18.9 billion.