(WASHINGTON) — Most Americans don’t have a clue as to where most of their tax dollars are going. If you’re one of them, a new report by Sen. Tom Coburn is bound to make you feel a little ill — or more than a little furious.
The Oklahoma Republican claims that $6.5 billion was wasted on so-called “questionable initiatives” during the 2011 fiscal year ending last Sept. 30.
Coburn says his study, “details 100 of the countless unnecessary, duplicative, or just plain stupid projects spread throughout the federal government and paid for with your tax dollars this year that highlight the out-of- control and shortsighted spending excesses in Washington.”
According to the lawmaker, post-death improper payments are among the most egregious instances of waste that have totaled over $600 million during the past five years. Coburn points to the example of one former government worker’s son who cashed his dead dad’s checks for 37 years, stealing more than a half a million dollars from taxpayers.
The study also lists a $113,000 federal grant to preserve the history of video games and another $130,000 for robot “dragons” to help preschoolers learn language skills.
Through it all, Coburn points to the real culprit, stating, “There was no bigger waste of the taxpayers’ money in 2011 than Congress itself. The dismal nine percent approval rating, the lowest ever recorded, would indicate the vast majority of Americans would agree.”
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Holly Yan and Nick Valencia, CNN
Arwa Damon, Waffa Munayyer and Bryony Jones, CNN