In case you missed it, U.S. Sen. James Lankford – a Republican from Oklahoma – has gone public with a report showing that Washington threw away some $247 billion this year in wasteful and inefficient federal spending.
Lankford’s “Federal Fumbles” report blows the whistle on such projects as a $2 million study determining that children don’t like to eat food after somebody has sneezed on it. (Gee, really?) Then there’s the half-a-million-dollar phone-texting initiative encouraging those called not to smoke. (Bet they lit up right after they rang off.) Perhaps the worst example of waste is the $1 billion the feds allocated for hospitals and infrastructure improvements in Palestine, the sworn enemy of the United States’ greatest friend in the Middle East – Israel. (You have to wonder if that’s really how the Palestinians spent the $1 billion.)
If you accept that there are 243 million federal taxpayers in the USA, each one of them could have enjoyed a tax refund of more than $1,000 if the squandered money had never been wasted. Who in the private sector could not have used an extra $1,000?
That wasted $247 billion also is among the conspicuous culprits in why this nation is approaching a public debt of $20 trillion.
Where is the federal Office of Management and Budget when you need it? Where is the OMB’s accountability? Where’s the exercise of its responsibility to the nation’s taxpayers? Why can’t this type of spending be identified early and cut off before any funds are allocated? The answer lies in a bloated federal bureaucracy, where it’s too easy these days to operate under the radar and get away with it.
Of all the pivotal appointments that Donald Trump must make, replacing current OMB director Shaun Donovan should occur sooner rather than later. The replacement director should be someone in lock step with the president-elect on draining the swamp.