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Every year, our government throws away tons of money. If we did that with someone else’s money, we’d be in prison. But since it’s the government, there is no accountability so they can just do whatever they want.

Fortunately, every year, Senator Rand Paul releases his Festivus report informing us all where that money goes. It’s not like we can actually do anything with it though unless we get so fed up that we run for Congress, win, and then there are enough of us that we can actually stop them from stealing our money and wasting it the way that they do.

This past year, Paul reported that our government wasted over $52 billion dollars of our tax money.

So what are some of the things that they spent our money on?

One of the largest items on the list the $36 billion in improper CARES Act unemployment insurance payments

In the report, Paul wrote:

The program has “an improper payment rate above 10 percent for 14 of the last 17 years.” Presuming, as the DOL OIG does, “an improper payment rate of 10 percent or higher for CARES Act benefits, at least $36 billion in UI program funds could be paid improperly, with a significant portion attributable to fraud.”

Evidence to support these presumptions are not hard to find, if you look. In Akron, Ohio one restaurant employing 44 people pre-pandemic “has received more than 100 notifications … of bogus unemployment claims as part of the massive unemployment fraud hitting the state and the nation.” In Kentucky, meanwhile, “60,000 of the 90,000 unemployment claims are considered to be fraudulent.” Some experts say when it’s all said and done, “the losses to unemployment coffers nationwide [will] be between $200 billion to $300 billion.”

So what else was wasted? Well, they spent $2.4 billion in buildings that sat unused in Afghanistan which is now under the control of the Taliban.

$465,339 was spent on pigeons playing slot machines. I don’t even understand what’s going on here. Why would this even be a thing?

$11.3 million was spent telling people not to burn their trash. Why would it possibly cost $11 million to do this? That is insane!

$337,500 was spent on fattening eels for humans to eat. When was the last time you had eel? Yeah, me neither.

$2.5 million was spent making a dinosaur movie to inspire kids. Spending $1.3 million on a study that shows hearing bad news decreases happiness levels. Did they really need a study to prove that? This is something we used to call common sense.

If you’d like to see the rest of the report, you can find it on Rand Paul’s website.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Daniel is a conservative syndicated opinion writer and amateur theologian. He writes about topics of politics, culture, freedom, and faith.

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