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22 Dec, 2021 23:00

Gambling pigeons & other US govt waste exposed

Gambling pigeons & other US govt waste exposed

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has released his seventh annual Festivus Report, aimed at highlighting wasteful government spending, with over $50 billion included in this year’s data.

The report on government spending highlighted more than $52 billion in government “waste,” broken down into topics of spending, including Covid, Afghanistan, and miscellaneous expenditures. 

Paul’s reports are known for highlighting odd research efforts that receive federal funding, and this year was no different. Included in the latest list of “grievances” from the Libertarian-leaning Republican was nearly $500,000 awarded to Reed College in Portland, Oregon to “create a token-based economy where pigeons are taught to gamble with slot machines.” 

Another grant worth north of $2 million went to Giant Screen Films to “reach millions of theatrical viewers across the US” with works promoting paleontology and other sciences. What came out of the spending was a documentary, an educational miniseries, and a museum exhibit to “inspire” young students. Admission to the museum was not free, according to the report.

Other spending highlighted includes $250 million to “build border walls in the Middle East and North Africa,” as well as $179 million to “fund green energy programs in Africa.”

“It seems like just yesterday the national debt was $20 trillion, but now the US has managed to breeze past $28 trillion,” Paul said, blasting government restrictions put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, like lockdowns and mask mandates. 

Much of the spending highlighted in the report was Covid-related, with Paul dubbing spending like over $4 billion on “bad loans out of the Paycheck Protection Program” and $36 billion on “unemployment insurance payments” as wasted.