Every Christmas season, Sen. Rand Paul releases his Festivus Report, listing his many grievances with how the federal government wastes our money. The latest report is out, and it’s a doozy, highlighting example after example of our money being wasted.
Here are the 7 most egregious ways the federal government wasted your money.
1. $4.5 billion in improper small business loans
As part of the government’s massive, multi-trillion-dollar “stimulus” efforts, the Small Business Administration gave out 44,920 loans that were likely ineligible and/or fraudulent—to the tune of $4.5 billion wasted. That’s nearly 40% of the total loans given out. Just phenomenal stuff.
2. $140 million on a luxury spa in Florida
As part of its COVID-19 spent, the federal government gave out bailout money for state and local governments like candy on Halloween. It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that some of it went to truly absurd purposes like Broward County, Florida spending $140 million of federal “COVID relief” money to build “800-room luxury hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean that includes 30,000 square feet of pool decks, a rooftop bar, and even a 11,000-square-foot spa and fitness center.”
3. $31.5 million to help criminals buy luxury cars
The federal government’s COVID-19 benefit programs were put together so hastily and with so few guardrails that they became a scammer’s dream. Sen. Paul highlights one glaring example of the runaway fraud: criminals used $31.5 million in federal COVID relief money, much of which hasn’t been recovered, to buy luxury cars including Corvettes, Porsches, Lamborghinis, and Ferraris.
4. $210 million to improve education in Jordan
American schools are failing many students, but our federal government spent hundreds of millions trying to improve education in a random Middle Eastern country. That’s right, according to this report, the feds spent $210 million to build schools, improve the Ministry of Education, and much more—in Jordan.
5. $3 million injecting hamsters with steroids
The federal government has given Northeastern University more than $3 million to inject hamsters with steroids and watch them fight, Senator Paul reports. That sounds almost as cruel as it is pointless.
6. $118 thousand to study Thanos’s finger-snapping
Marvel nerds will get a kick out of this one. The federal government actually gave Georgia Tech more than $118,000 to study whether Thanos could’ve really snapped his fingers, as he famously did in the 2018 movie Avengers: Infinity War, while wearing metal gloves. They concluded that this fictional scene was not, in fact, possible, answering a burning question at the top of millions of Americans’ minds.
7. $1.7 billion to maintain empty buildings
The federal government is so incompetent that it can’t even easily sell-off unused properties. As a result, it has spent billions maintaining empty buildings, Sen. Paul reports, in a depressing but deeply symbolic farce.
All in all, Paul identified more than $482 billion in waste. That comes out to an astounding $3,300 per federal taxpayer. What would you have done with that extra money this year?