Rand Paul’s 2022 Festivus Report highlights $482 billion of wasteful spending

by WorldTribune Staff, December 26, 2022

A $3.5 trillion Inflation Reduction Act which does nothing to combat rising inflation rates.

A $1.9 trillion omnibus spending package for 2023 that was released in the dead of night two days before Christmas, and voted into law without anyone in Congress having read it.

The Uniparty in Congress recklessly wasted hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said in his 2022 “Festivus Report“.

“This year, I am highlighting a whopping $482,276,543,907 of waste, including a steroid-induced hamster fight club, a study to see if kids love their pets, and a study of the romantic patterns of parrots. No matter how much money’s already been wasted, politicians keep demanding even more.”

Paul’s “Airing of (spending) Grievances” includes:

• $475 billion in interest payments on the debt (Treasury)
• $4.5 billion to give ineligible citizens Covid Economic Injury Disaster Grants (SBA)
• $1.7 billion to maintain 77,000 empty federal buildings
• $175 million to expand the Washington, D.C. Streetcar that’s rarely used and unreliable
• $70 million to subsidize the free New York Staten Island Ferry (DOT)
• $17 million for unused hotel rooms for illegal immigrants (DHS)
• $3 million to watch hamsters fight while on steroids (NIH)
• $2.3 million for experiments which inject 6-month-old beagle puppies with cocaine (NIH)
• $2.1 million to encourage Ethiopians to wear shoes (NIH)
• $689,222 to study romance between parrots (NSF)
• $200,000 for a radio campaign telling drivers to stop at railroad crossings (DOT)
• $192,592 for Starbucks espresso machines (DOD)
• $187,500 for a study verifying that kids love their pets (NIH)

Paul also highlighted the staggering amount of abuse of Covid relief funds.

The Small Business Administration Office of the Inspector General found that more than 38 percent of all Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grants were identified as potential fraud risks.

Broward County officials in Florida used $140 million in Covid relief funds to construct an 800-room luxury hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean that includes 30,000 square feet of pool decks, a rooftop bar, and even an 11,000-square-foot spa and fitness center.

While the Treasury Department bans the use of Covid relief funds on large capital projects, in a February 2022 county board meeting, Broward officials “schemed together to find a way around the rule: the money was transferred to the county’s general fund and described as a federal payment to cover lost tax revenue. The money was then returned from the general fund back to the project,” Sen. Paul noted.

Four individuals used over $31.5 million in Covid relief funds to purchase luxury cars. One isn’t even a U.S. citizen. “I’m talking really expensive vehicles, here: Porsches, Ferraris and even Lamborghinis,” Paul noted. “One managed to purchase a whole ‘fleet’ of luxury cars using $17 million (yes, you read that
right) taxpayer dollars, which included a Corvette Stingray, a Porsche Macan and a Bentley Convertible. Of that, the Federal government has only recouped $7.2 million.”

Sen. Paul noted that “it used to be a big deal” when Congress spent as much money as it did in 2022. “When Congress bailed out the banks in 2008, it spent about $700 billion. And that, some argued, was meant to save the entire U.S. economy. Now, we’re shelling out just about that much without getting a single thing back for it, and not blinking an eye! Is it any wonder we’re this far in the hole when Congress uses Christmas as a cudgel to pass pork-laden spending bills?”

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