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InsiderOnline Blog: August 2006

Taxpayer $ for Woodpeckers

From Heritage intern Jonathan Lindsey:

An email update from the office of Senator Tom Coburn regarding activity on the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information and International Security exposes some examples of government waste.

The Census bureau, despite its inability to explain what it spends current funds on, has requested an increase in funding by $1 billion for the 2010 census.  Senator Coburn has expressed his unwillingness to permit such a spending increase without justification in a letter to Louis Kincannon, the director of the U.S. Census Bureau.  Coburn is also quoted on the subcommittee website saying, “It is the height of arrogance for the Census Bureau to threaten Congress with huge cost increases when it is unable to explain how it uses the money it already has. Until Census makes a stronger case for why it needs more money, I will do everything I can to make sure the budget cuts in the House and Senate stand.”

Another letter from the Senator, this one to the U.S. Department of Treasury, requests accountability for money being given to the World Bank for a malaria program that uses obsolete drugs, fails to use proven prevention methods, and is in financial disarray.  More information is on the subcommittee website.  

Changing the tone to some good news, the update points out that four Coburn amendments to the Department of Defense spending bill passed, requiring transparency in DoD spending, decreasing spending on travel by setting a cap, and improving the serious problem of payment errors being made at DoD.

The last item of the update is the “Outrage of the Week,” which explains how NASA is using taxpayer money to search for woodpeckers in Arkansas.  

Posted on 08/09/06 04:56 PM by Larry Scholer

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