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Sen. Rand Paul finds $54 billion in wasted taxpayer dollars in 2020

Published in Blog on January 20, 2021 by Convention Of States

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It's become commonplace among fiscally responsible Americans to point out how much taxpayer money is wasted every year in Washington, D.C., but many don't realize exactly how their hard-earned dollars are being used.

That's why, every year, U.S. Senator and Convention of States Endorser Rand Paul publishes the Festivus Report

The Festivus report investigates every department in the federal government and finds the worst, most expensive examples of wasted taxpayer money. This year, Sen. Paul and his team identified over $54 billion in wasted taxpayer dollars. 

As the report points out, that's enough money to build 465,000 miles of paved two-lane roadway, three years of the entire Treasury Department, or a 40" flat screen TV's for every American.

At the very least, that money could have been used to help Americans recover from tyrannical COVID-19 lockdowns. Instead, our $54 billion was spent useless studies, pointless programs, and failed foreign aid. 

We scoured the report for some of the most egregious and costly examples of taxpayer waste, and here's what we found:

  • $36 million to figure out why stress makes hair turn grey
  • $2 million to determine if soaking in a hot tub can lower stress
  • $3 million to send messages to moms to stop their teenage girls from indoor tanning
  • $8.6 billion in a failed counter-narcotics effort in Afghanistan
  • $48 million "helping disconnected Tunisian youth not feel like a problem"
  • $1.5 million teaching lizards to walk on a treadmill
  • $2 million developing a wearable headset to track eating behavior
  • $174 million losing drones over Afghanistan
  • $20 million rebuilding a taxiway for private jets on Nantucket Island
  • $10 million buying COVID-19 test tubes but instead received unusable soda bottles

We could go on, but you get the idea.

Unfortunately, despite the condemnations from responsible statesmen like Sen. Paul, the majority of Congress has shown no willingness to address the federal government's wasteful spending. As Sen. Paul explains, the debt resulting from this waste is risking the long-term existence of programs like Social Security.

"It is more important than ever for Congress to find its fiscal backbone," he says in the Festivus Report. "Our debt puts at risk the long-term solvency of major programs such as Social Security. And why? To pay for test tubes for COVID tests that turn out to be soda bottles? To see if hot tubbing a few times a week eases stress?"

If Congress wont' take a stand to protect our futures, we'll take a stand for them. An Article V Convention of States has the power to propose constitutional amendments that force Congress to be fiscally responsible. These amendments can mandate a balanced budget and cap spending, but they can also prohibit Congress from making up the difference by just raising taxes.

Taken together, these amendments can compel Congress to address the billions they waste every year and get our nation's finances under control. With the Biden administration promising to blow out the budget once again, these amendments are more important than ever.

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Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington, DC.

I support the Convention of States Project; a national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.

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