WASHINGTON – Sen. Rand Paul’s got a lot of problems with the federal government, and now you’re gonna hear about it!
The libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican channeled ornery “Seinfeld” patriarch Frank Costanza Friday in releasing his annual “Festivus Report” laying out nearly $500 billion in wasteful spending – including $118,000 from the National Science Foundation for a study on whether the Marvel movie villain Thanos could actually snap his fingers while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet.
“This year, I am highlighting a whopping $482,276,543,907 of waste, including a steroid-induced hamster fight club, a study to see if kids love their pets, and a study of the romantic patterns of parrots,” Paul said. “No matter how much money’s already been wasted, politicians keep demanding even more.”
Some of the most bizarre spendings comes from National Institutes of Health research on animals, including a $2.3 million study injecting six-month-old beagle puppies with cocaine, $1.1 million for “training mice to binge drink alcohol” and a $3 million study at Northeastern University that involved “watch[ing] hamsters fight on steroids.”
Other oddities on the list include:
- $192,592 was spent on Starbucks espresso machines at the Pentagon.
- $3 million for a Mahatma Gandhi museum in Houston.
- $2.5 million for Super Bowl commercials “telling you to fill out the Census.”
- A $200,000 Department of Transportation radio campaign reminding drivers to stop at railroad crossings.
- $9 million to construct a park in Austin, Texas that is “used for yoga and concerts.”
Other big expenditures involve COVID-19 relief funds, including $4.5 billion in payouts to fraudsters that were meant to go to small businesses. Another was $124 million spent to “construct an 11,000-square-foot spa” in Broward County, Fla., and $31.5 million used to “purchase luxury cars,” according to the report.
Also making the list is $475 billion the Treasury Department spent on debt interest payments; $1.7 billion on “maintaining 77,000 empty federal buildings”; $17 million for “unused hotel rooms for illegal immigrants“; and $168 million spent “helping illegal immigrants avoid deportation.“
“Last Festivus, we lamented over the national debt reaching an astronomical $28.4 trillion. Shockingly, in one short year, the career politicians and bureaucrats in Washington have managed to breeze right past $30 trillion without a second thought,” Paul said in the report.
“As always, the path to fiscal responsibility is often a lonely journey, but as I’ve done in years past, I will continue my fight against government waste this holiday season,” he added.
Paul has embraced Christmas themes several times to make his fiscal-responsibility points this month, including a “12 Days of Christmas” Twitter countdown with daily criticisms of the Biden White House.
“On the 12th day of Christmas, the Biden Administration gave to me [the president’s chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony] Fauci’s December retirement… I’m not mad about this one. #12DaysOfChristmas,” he posted Thursday.
On Tuesday, he Tweeted a video of him reading a modified version of “The Night Before Christmas” that included the phrase: “No budget was found, just mischief and debt/While the taxpayers hung their poor heads and wept.”