Monday, April 25, 2022

Sen. Lankford releases newest government waste report

Continuing the late Dr. Tom Coburn's Wastebook legacy, U.S. Senator James Lankford is out with his sixth edition of Federal Fumbles, chronicling wasteful government spending.

Lankford Releases Government Waste Report

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today announced the sixth volume of his federal waste book, Federal Fumbles: Ways the government dropped the ball. The report highlights waste and inefficiency in the federal government and offers solutions and recommendations for long-term changes that need to begin immediately.

Federal Fumbles is a to-do list for me and my team, and it’s also a status update for Oklahomans who are concerned about waste, fraud, and abuse of their tax dollars and what is being done to stop it,” said Lankford. “As Oklahomans face 8.5 percent inflation, sky-high gas prices, and grocery bills they’re struggling to pay, they rightly want to know why they see so much waste in government and what is being done to solve it. We have already utilized our findings in Fumbles to get numerous ‘touchdowns’ signed into law or get bad policy reversed. But there is always more to do. This year’s report focuses on some of the biggest drivers of our debt and deficits, including President Biden’s $2 billion waste at the southern border, long-term solvency issues with Social Security and Medicare, and numerous wasteful earmarks and pork in the latest spending bill, which I opposed. We need solutions to the issues we face, so Fumbles also focuses on recommendations for how to actually make the tough decisions, not just talk about them.”

CLICK HERE for a summary of the report.

Video Excerpts:

On the ballooning national debt and ongoing deficit spending

Lankford: We have a $2.8 trillion deficit, which means we’re spending $2.8 trillion more in one single year than we take in. In 2019 before COVID, our national debt was $22.7 trillion. Today our debt stands at over $30 trillion--$30 trillion. That’s the equivalent of $1 of spending per second for one million years—a million years! That’s the question I hear often: where does all this federal money come from? We don’t have a rainy day fund. We just have more borrowing from the future or printing money.

On some of the waste uncovered for the sixth volume of Fumbles

Lankford: This year I’ve found things like $2 billion wasted because of the Biden Administration’s decision to not finish building the wall at our southern border, which is already paid for. We literally paid contractors $2 billion last year not to build the border security wall. I’m also highlighting things like the most recent federal spending bill and earmarks. Things like $20 million for repairs at the US Grant Presidential Library, $500,000 for an art walk project in Trenton, New Jersey, and millions of dollars for sidewalk projects and bike trails in Rhode Island and Vermont just to name a few places. We’ll shine light on some of the projects funded through grant programs for things like $90,000-$150,000 on robot dogs at the border, $2.6 million going to Chinese health programs, $120,000 to write about Russians, $15,000 spent on a monkey opera—we all can’t wait for that opera--$500,000 for the Nansen Ski Club in New Hampshire, $3 million for a fisherman co-op in Guam, $30 million for safe smoking kits. How about $569,000 for lobster pot removal. All of that while we’re experiencing the highest gas prices our nation has ever seen.

On the looming crises for Social Security and Medicare if we do nothing

Lankford: If we do nothing, Medicare will be insolvent and unable to pay its full benefits by 2026. Social Security is expected to go insolvent by 2034. These are not some distant years down the road; 2026 is in four years! This is a crisis we can all see coming, and we can work on solutions to address it, if we start it now. One way to help protect these benefits for the people who depend on them most is to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse of these programs.


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