Costs Of Shutdown And Health Website Highlight 'Wastebook' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Costs Of Shutdown And Health Website Highlight 'Wastebook'

Older Two-Way readers will remember the monthly Golden Fleece Awards from former Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., who spotlighted ways the federal government was wasting money.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has picked up that mantle in recent years with his annual Wastebook.

On Tuesday, Coburn released his 2013 edition, where he points to:

-- "Obamacare [and] the failure of its $319 million website."

-- The $2 billion or so "to provide back pay to federal employees" who were furloughed during the 16-day partial government shutdown.

-- The destruction of $7 billion worth of vehicles and other military equipment in Afghanistan.

-- A slew of smaller expenditures that he says appear to have been of dubious value. They include: $10 million spent by the Army National Guard on a "soldier of steel" promotional campaigned tied to this year's Superman movie; nearly $1 million shelled out by the National Endowment of the Humanities 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;" and the grounding of a "mega-blimp" project after nearly $300 million was expended.

According to Coburn, his staff came up with "examples of wasteful and low-priority spending totaling more than $28 billion."

That is, for sure, a large number. But it's also about 0.7 percent of the $3.8 trillion the federal government spent for the year.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Like 'Dynasty' On Ice: The Nancy Kerrigan And Tonya Harding Museum

Why would a couple of comedians build a museum in their hallway dedicated to figure skaters in 1994? Because the story of their rivalry, Kerrigan's attack and the media frenzy is just so American.
NPR

This Robot Chef Has Mastered Crab Bisque

The system, a pair of robotic arms, learned to cook by mimicking the motions of a top chef. Even though it can't smell or taste, its maker says the robot should be able to make 2,000 meals by 2017.
WAMU 88.5

Morale Is Low Among Government Workers, But What Can Be Done?

Lawmakers are awaiting the results of a Government Accountability Office on low morale across federal agencies. But can Congress help fix a problem they played a large part in creating?

NPR

VW Camper Van Gets An Electric Makeover

Talk about a time warp! The iconic VW camper is getting a modern reboot. This time, it's electric.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.