U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s just released his annual “Festivus Report” of wasteful government spending. The 2021 listing does not disappoint.
Festivus is a holiday celebrated on December 23rd, created on the Jerry Seinfeld Show by Frank Costanza, George Costanza’s father, as an alternative to Christmas. According to Seinfeld Fandom, “He came upon the idea after pummeling a man in the face in a toy-store dispute over a doll (for George). In his own words, ‘As I rained blows upon him, I realized, ‘There had to be another way!'”
Festivus features an aluminum pole instead of a Christmas tree due to Frank finding tinsel “distracting.” At dinner, the Airing of Grievances is conducted, in which the celebrants tell each other what the other has done to irritate them that year.
Thus, Sen. Rand Paul’s list of grievances.
Here’s Sen. Paul’s open:
“What a year it’s been. It seems like just yesterday when the national debt was $20 trillion, but now the U.S. has managed to breeze past $28 trillion! And, it’s safe to say that some big changes have occurred since last year’s Festivus Report. Mask mandates, travel restrictions and lock-downs were lifted across many parts of the country. President Biden was inaugurated. Inflation has skyrocketed. The Kardashians finally ended their TV show after 14 years. “Dad bod” was officially added to Webster’s Dictionary. And how about the Federal government? Well, unsurprisingly, it managed to keep spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need.”
Paul highlights a whopping $52,598,515,585 of waste, including a study of pigeons gambling on slot machines, giving kids junk food, and telling citizens of Vietnam not to burn their trash.
Here are a few more highlights:
- If the waste we found is: $52,598,515,585 And the average taxpayer pays about: ÷ $15,332 Then Uncle Sam WASTED the taxes of: 3,430,636 people That is roughly the population of Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; or 50.74 times the size of Senator Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green, KY.
- the Congressional Budget Office projection of more than $1.2 trillion in deficits for Fiscal Year 2022.
- Congress spent $6.8 trillion in Fiscal Year 2021, $266 billion more than FY2020. Why continue to recklessly spend taxpayers’ money when debt held by the public is already at 103% of GDP?
Sen. Paul asks “what could $52,598,515,585 have bought us?”
- Giving every person in the world $6.78!
- 13,149 miles of 4-lane highway construction – long enough to cross the cross the United States 5.26 times!
- 4.5 months of operating the VA!
- 1 year and 8 months of funding the Department of Energy!
Some of the most egregious government waste came from the Small Business Administration. “To help small businesses stay afloat, Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). But rather than make certain that the money went to people who truly needed it, the Small Business Administration (SBA) sent as much as $4.29 billion to people who weren’t eligible to receive loans or who received duplicate loans. More than $3.6 billion of the PPP loans SBA sent out went to those on the Treasury’s Do Not Pay (DNP) List. The DNP list lets agencies check payment recipients to ensure money goes to people who are eligible, like people who aren’t convicted fraudsters. But SBA didn’t use the DNP List. SBA OIG also found $692 million went to duplicate loans. The CARES Act prohibited duplicate applications and required loan applicants to promise to send only one application; but SBA didn’t check its own database to enforce the rule.”
The 2021 Festivus Report is fascinating and repulsive at the same time. Read it. Remember it.
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