- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Sen. Rand Paul wants American taxpayers to know exactly how their money is being spent by the federal government: on self-cleaning toilets that cost over $500,000 to maintain, and studies on nicotine-addicted Zebrafish.

The Kentucky Republican released his Fall 2019 “Waste Report” this week, which included $230 million of often bizarre spending decisions.

An abbreviated list includes the following projects:

  • Bob Dylan statue for the embassy in Mozambique (State): $84,375
  • Research that involves hooking Zebrafish on nicotine (NIH): $708,466
  • Brought Serbian cheese up to international standards (USAID): $22,000,000
  • Studied the connection between drinking alcohol and winding up in the ER (NIH): $4,658,865

Mr. Paul’s report also highlighted “Operation Golden Potty,” a name coined by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Office of the Inspector General.

“From 2003 to 2017, according to the OIG, Metro spending ‘approximately $500,000 maintaining a single, self-cleaning toilet located at the Huntington Metro Station.’ The OIG cannot definitively state how much was spent because Metro lost invoices for 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2014.”

Metro attempted to rationalize its spending on the toilet as necessary to ease customers’ “security concerns” after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Mr. Paul’s report warns readers not to look at isolated cases of wasteful spending as a “drop in the bucket” because “it all adds up to massive budget deficits” in the aggregate.

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