The United States’ top watchdog for federal spending in Afghanistan on Friday called for Secretary of State John Kerry to reconsider a contract for three television trucks that have been left to collect dust in Kabul at a cost of $3.6 million to taxpayers.
It takes a lot of taxpayer dollars to subsidize a culture. American taxpayers are spending tens of millions of dollars this year funding National Endowment for the Humanities grants that, among other things, finance research projects that look into the lives of pets during Victorian England, consider the history of black Americans in golf and study the culture of tea consumption in India.
More than a dozen lucky rabbits were given Swedish massages four times a day, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers, as part of a study to figure out whether massage can help recovery times after strenuous exercise — a practice Sen. Tom Coburn says makes a mockery of federal spending.
This year’s Wastebook does not show the $5,210 that the State Department tried to spend on a blowup, human-size foosball field for an embassy in Belize. But the fact that the project isn’t in Sen. Tom Coburn’s annual report on ridiculous spending choices is probably one of the biggest victories of the report, because it means the State Department canceled the project after the senator’s staffers asked about it.
The Pentagon this month will terminate a critical task force responsible for combating corruption in Afghanistan as it tries to reach President Obama’s target force of 9,800 U.S. troops in the country — adding to concerns about oversight and accountability in a government rife with waste, fraud and abuse.
Taxpayers paid the salaries of tens of thousands of federal employees who were put on paid administrative leave for misconduct but weren’t fired from their jobs, according to an audit this week that suggests agencies aren’t doing a very good job of getting rid of bad workers.
Top public health officials have collected $25 million in bonuses since 2007, carving out extra pay for themselves in tight federal budgetary times while blaming a lack of money for the Obama administration’s lackluster response to the Ebola outbreak.
State Department managers created the appearance of giving “undue influence and favoritism” by quashing or delaying official probes into accusations of prostitution solicitation, sexual assault and document leaking by American diplomats in recent years, a report by the department’s internal watchdog said Thursday.
It may be common for consumers to have unused software on their computers, but when it comes to the IRS, investigators say it’s costing taxpayers millions of dollars.