Senator Paul’s Festivus Report Cites $54 Billion in Government Waste

On Festivus Day, Senator Rand Paul released his sixth annual Festivus Report showcasing how the government wastes taxpayers’ money. Festivus is a secular holiday popularized by a 1997 “Seinfeld” episode for the airing of grievances. This year, the 139-page report outlines how the government wasted $54 billion. In 2019, the senator’s report showed $50 billion in government waste.

Then, the senator took to Twitter to tweet about what he saw as some of the biggest taxpayer money wastes. Items tweeted by Paul included:

  • $15 million to promote democracy in Pakistan
  • $130 million to promote democracy in rural Nepal
  • $132 million in assistance to Georgia, the Eurasian country
  • $25 million to teach English to unemployed Romanians
  • $36 million to study why hair turns gray
  • $1.5 million to get Eastern Mediterranean kids to stop smoking hookah
  • $3 million to interview San Franciscans about edible cannabis use
  • $4.5 million to spray alcoholic rats with bobcat urine
  • $1.03 million to help people overcome their fears of going to the dentist

Paul’s Top 10

Annually, the senator creates his top 10 list of what he considers the most wasteful uses of taxpayers’ money. In addition to the money spent interviewing San Franciscans about edible cannabis, this year’s list includes:

  • Providing ineffective foreign aid to Afghanistan for 15 years
  • Subsidizing yachting by the Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Paying participants to find out if hot tubbing lowers stress levels by the National Institute of Health
  • Renovating a Nantucket airport used mainly by private planes using CARES Act funds by the Federal Aviation Administration
  • Receiving contaminated soda bottles after paying for COVID test tubes by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Paying researchers to develop methods to stop adults from binge-watching television shows by the National Institute of Health
  • Losing more than 100 drones over Afghanistan by the Department of Defense
  • Creating a venture capital fund for bad investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the United States Agency for International Development
  • Running lizards on a treadmill by the National Science Foundation