U.S. Senator Tom Coburn has released his annual “Wastebook 2013”. Coburn, the Republican from Oklahoma is a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. This report provides the Senator’s opinion of the 100 worst examples of wasteful spending totaling approximately $30 billion dollars.

The report is a must read for those that question whether our tax dollars are spent wisely. Whether or not these are actually the worst 100 are of course subjective. But you will find them interesting.

As an example, there are only about 19 brothels left in the U.S. and all are located in Nevada. Yet these 19 were able to write off $17 million in taxes, even though the profession is illegal in most of the country.

Another entry in the report is a result of logistics. With the wind-down of the war in Afghanistan, it was decided that instead of shipping $7 billion dollars of equipment back to America, that it should be destroyed.

There are plenty of (relatively) smaller projects, like the $1 million dollar bus stop in Arlington VA. Hard to imagine, but true. As for price per square foot, that’s expensive real estate.

And for those that have an identity crisis, one could always ‘buy’ friends – as the State Department did when it paid $630 thousand to buy ‘likes’ on Facebook and Twitter for its own accounts.

But hey, you will need to choose your own. There are another 96 and those are just the ones that made the publication. Happy reading!

Mark Schuster, Partner