Congressional Report Highlights Wasteful Pork Programs

Published January 7, 2016

A member of Congress has released a new report identifying 100 government-funded programs of questionable utility in an effort to raise awareness of how government spending and overregulation harm taxpayers.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) has published the first annual “Federal Fumbles” report card, highlighting “100 ways the federal government dropped the ball.”

“‘Federal Fumbles’ is designed to highlight duplication and waste in government spending, identify burdensome regulation, and give proposed solutions for each,” Lankford told Budget & Tax News. “All of the entries represent instances where the federal government fumbled the ball and broke the trust of the American people.”

Eye on the Ball

Lankford says federal agencies should keep their eye on the ball when spending taxpayer money.

“There are certainly several entries where simple government oversight would have stopped the fumble from occurring, such as the $65,473 study [conducted] to find out what bugs do when lights are turned on in rural areas and over $5 billion in fraudulent tax refunds paid out due to identity theft,” Lankford said.

‘Baby Steps First’

Lankford says small reforms can go a long way.

“Every dollar counts,” Lankford said. “With a massive $19 trillion debt, we must root out waste anywhere we can find it. If we can build the consensus to take on the issues highlighted here, we can use that as a stepping stone to even broader reforms. Baby steps first, but we should at least take these steps.”

Jonathan Bydlak, president of the Coalition to Reduce Spending, a nonpartisan organization calling for reduced government spending and balanced budgets, says lawmakers should strive to cut waste, regardless of how large or small it may be. 

Every Bit Counts

“While these examples might not make up the bulk of the federal shortfall, any tax money being wasted ought to be addressed,” Bydlak said. “What’s more, these types of small spending of a few million dollars resonate with the people whose money is funding wasteful and outrageous programs.”

Bydlak says cutting government pork and increasing transparency go hand in hand.

“Both should be attempted together, and without consistent oversight and transparency, gains will be hard to sustain in the long run,” Bydlak said.

Dustin Siggins ([email protected]) writes from Washington, DC. 

Internet Info:

James Lankford, “Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball,” Office of U.S. Senator James Lankford: