- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 23, 2021

Sen. Rand Paul issued his annual Dec. 23 Festivus “airing of grievances” on Thursday, highlighting the federal government’s “out of control” spending in the spirit of the 1990s megahit TV sitcom, “Seinfeld.”

Honoring a personal tradition, the conservative Kentucky Republican released a 43-page report identifying what he said was more than $52 billion in “wasteful” government spending this year alone.

“No matter how much money’s already been wasted, politicians keep demanding even more,” Mr. Paul said. “But don’t worry, I will continue to fight against government waste.”

The most notorious expenditures include “a study of pigeons gambling on slot machines, giving kids junk food, and telling citizens of Vietnam not to burn their trash.” Mr. Paul’s report also notes the federal government spent taxpayer dollars on items such as:

• $2.1 million to encourage California residents to uninstall fireplaces.
• $14 million for the Washington-based Wilson Center “to put on parties for congressmen.”
• $1.3 million on a National Institute of Aging study showing bad news decreases happiness.
• $400 million for planting trees in New York City.

Mr. Paul said the billions in wasteful spending averaged out to roughly $15,332-per-taxpayer throughout 2021. The national debt, meanwhile, climbed to $28.9 trillion.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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