Government Waste

Pivotfarm's picture


Waste is a many splendid thing that in all circumstances we attempt to reduce and get rid of, shunning it like a pariah. Well, perhaps almost all circumstances. There are times when waste is just the by-word for government these days. But, are we all equal in the quantity of waste that is generated in our countries’ governments?


Let’s take a look at China which seems to be the place that is cracking down on waste more than most (if we are to believe their figures). The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) stated that there was a fall of 53% of state money spent on meetings, money for official overseas trips was also cut by 39% and there was a 10% reduction in vehicle purchases between 2012 and 2013.

Xinhua, the official news agency of the People’s Republic of China stated that the anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan (March 15th) wishes to have a “Sword of Damocles” hanging over the heads of officials in the government to keep them from wasting public money. Perhaps allegorical and perhaps a moral anecdote, but the Sword is usually seen to be an illusion to imminent and impending, ever-present peril at the court of a tyrant.

Qishan stated that his fight against corruption was taking him to investigating the Ministry of Science and Technology, Fudan University, China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. He would also be looking closely at regional governments such as Beijing City.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection under the leadership of President Xi Jinping has been publically espousing the benefits of fighting tooth and nail to break with corruption, shoring up the governments mandate to rule. However, moving away from decades of suspicion, wasteful use of taxpayers’ money and outlandish extravagancies are hard things to inspect and even harder to discipline.

But, we could clearly do with a great deal more of that discipline and a great hefty blow of inspection (independent, of course) in the USA these days, however.


Remember back when the Republicans and the Democrats were wasting our money flogging out the question as to whether or not they should vote the budget despite not having any money? Remember all those people that got told to stay at home and got laid off because Washington couldn’t find the greenbacks for them?

Well, the guys in Washington were certainly able to agree on continuing voting the budget for that Super Twiggy Squirrel advert that was running in Spain and trumpeting the healthy benefits of walnuts grown in California. The Department of Agriculture was spending $200 million a year on that promotion and $3 million went into the adverts. The Republicans and the Democrats voted 322 (only 98 against) for keeping that advert running while the Federal workers got sent home and told to eat humble pie (some of which incidentally were paid $4, 000 per month for doing nothing at all).

Here are some prime examples:

• The Department of Defense continued spending $432 million on the construction of aircraft that will never be put in the air. They have been financing the building of the C-27J Spartan since 2007. Despite having been told that the Air Force considered that this aircraft could not offer superior capabilities during airlift missions and that it could not match the already existent C-130. Since 2012, Congress has been informed that funding of production should stop. It hasn’t. Waste.
• The Department of Defense has thought up the wonderful idea of destroying $7 billion-worth of military equipment and vehicles that are in the Middle East as it pulls out and it feels that it’s too expensive to ship home. Waste.
• $60.4 million that was voted to be spent on Hurricane-Sandy victims should have gone to helping them rebuild things. Instead New York and New Jersey (state-level officials) spent that money on tourist ads. Waste. 
• Children are being taught about the effects of global warming by NASA ($390, 000) through a kids’ show (Green Ninja) via YouTube. Waste.
• Facebook gets a tax rebate (yes it doesn’t pay any tax and gets a refund from the state) worth $295 million. Waste. 
• NASA is searching for signs of intelligent life in space still ($3 million), while we can’t even find a trace of it in Washington itself. Waste.

Boondoggle Bungles by Washington that’s all they are. The examples of waste by Washington lead us to question every day what the government is actually doing with our money.

Governments don’t tend to ever cut back on wasteful spending. They reduce the level of services available to citizens and they attempt (perhaps outwardly) to continue providing that same service. That means that the federal workers just have to do more with less. But, it doesn’t ever limit the scope of the government. It rarely reduces the possibility of getting access to money that is embezzled, diverted or exploited by those that are in positions of authority.

The true question that comes to mind however is whether or not the government is a waste or just completely wasted when it thinks up he reasons why it should spend out hard earned tax-payers’ money on frivolous, questionable things. Baked, folded, call it what you will. But, governments when wasting must always be belligerent when it comes to justifying why they spent that money. Always remember that attack is the best form of defense; we all know that.

What a waste, government!

What waste has been the biggest for you?

Originally posted:  Government Waste


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yellowsub's picture

We only keep on perpetuating the gov't is inept when it's not...  Clearly they have the capability to track all your activities and using it now to see how many people still believe their same old bullshit.

Jack4952's picture

"government waste"... isn't that term REDUNDANT ????


;-)   ;-)



acapulco's picture

What a waste, government! 

Now, here's a million dollar question. More or less, there are some 200 countries in the world today. Can you please indicate at least one of these 200 governments ready to provide transparent answers? 

Request To Croatian Ministry Of Interior For Urgent Determination Of Facts Concerning The Issue Of Central Bank, National Currency And Parliamentary Jurisdiction

Can you please indicate at least one of these 200 governments ready to provide transparent answers?

Comte d'herblay's picture

AS long as money circulates, whether it be for a completely useless Computer Technology that attempts to duplicate the function of an Abacus, or tracking every airplane on the ground or in the air globally, it is not wasted, but moves with stealth like Bedouins in the night into and out of the pockets of productive people, do-nothings, grossly incompetent human beans like those in elected office everywhere....all that matters is that it MOVES and does its multiplier effect rippling and trickling, cascades like Niagara or drips like a festering sore on clintons dick in to that maw known as the global economy for someone else to grab some of it as it passes swiftly or overnights somewhere resting from its ceaseless journey akin to a perpetual motion machine.

Yes, it can be used more efficiently but any money that circulates is a net benefit to the people, some people like Lord Blankfein, and Joe Cassano, Dickie Fuld, and Ace Greenberg more than others.

But hoarding it is verboten. Then out come the vigilantes knives.

newworldorder's picture

RE: Comte d'berblay

You are 10000% correct with your comments.

The function of government has changed from prudent stewardship of national resources, including tax monies paid to the US Treasury - to one of adding as much as possible to US GDP by spending , without concern for the annual budget.  This is why the Ryan budget negotiations were such a sham. As long as the FED buys US Treasury bonds with no questions asked, $$ money is just digits that spreads the wealth.

Anyone  remember the push to hire thousands of TSA screeners at US Airports in 2002? The waste with that effort, would make the boys at the FED blush. Approximatly 1 billion dollars were spent to bring the TSA to life - just on the hiring project alone. This wealth was spread among every US City with an airport, as thousands of Contract Recruiters and their staff showed up for recruiting, testing and hiring the TSA screeners.

Politicians and Government Agency heads are no longer accountable to the tax payer as to how their tax money is spent. The uS Govt and the Congress are no longer constrained by the need to raise taxes. The FED obliges their every spending whim, by buying as much quantity of US Govt debt as the Congress sells through the US Treasury.






sunnyside's picture

Contract Recruiters and their staff showed up for recruiting, testing and hiring the TSA screeners.


Can you imagine the level of dumbass of those who didn't make the cut?  Were they drooling in line, or so inept that they couldn't sign their name to the application?

John_Coltrane's picture

I'm guessing "screening" for any brainwave activity on an EEG would qualify you for TSA.

drendebe10's picture

the biggest waste is the arrogant narcissitic lying illegal alien kenyan muslim sociopath living at 1600 Penn w its wookie Ho.

sunnyside's picture

Nice you're not a fan? 

Seize Mars's picture

"...Waste is a many splendid thing..."
It's a "many splendored thing, " you fucking idiot.

lasvegaspersona's picture

If the government cuts back on spending then the GDP would fall and that would make it appear that we were in a recession (though after 6 years I suppose it could be called a depression.)....but not to worry...just part of a 'cycle'...sure it will fix itself up the folks feel they can spend again.

Comte d'herblay's picture

Get used to it. In the post manufacturing and information jobs world, everyone but a few will be unemployed and most  will have skipped the first 4 to Abe Maslow's 5th level of Needs.

Jobs will be as extinct as the DoDo Bird with the exception that the DoDos DNA could be used to make new ones, while the jobs DNA......well.....there is no Jobs DNA.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Don't bother trying to cut government waste.  Just cut government spending.


JoBob's picture

Ummm...  It's a many "splendored" thing...


"Splendid" is singular.


Just words, but you got right ones and wrong ones.

roadhazard's picture

Curbing Gov. waste is like working toward peace in the Mid East. Never gonna happen.

MeBizarro's picture

Cutting 'waste' and ending foreign aid - the two cheap and easy campaign promises but neither party is prepared to state that we need to reduce the the transfer payments to the elderly and reduce defense spending.  It means two things - elderly people at the end of life who can't pay need to have care/expenses rationed.  Either the gov't or the private sector/individual have to do this and yes it will mean people will die because they can't afford care.  It already happens in the US outside of Medicare but just doesn't get covered by the general press.  2nd item is it means we resize the military to essentially fight one war at a time, reduce our global footprint drastically, and reform military benefits/pensions which are at the root of cannabalizing the defense budget.  I have little/no hope either party will be willing to make these changes especially regarding Medicare & Medicaid (who single biggest expense is institutionalized care for the elderly).   

chinoslims's picture

Government Waste.  Isn't that being redundant?

Winston Smith 2009's picture

Want to see a great segment on the massive US waste of money in Afghanistan?  Watch the new episode of HBO VICE which surprisingly is available for anyone on YouTube:

Short video synopsis of above 20 minute segment:

scrappy's picture

This is a reflection of our wonderful "economic system" /sarc

The answer I keep thinking is do something innovative, yet practical, in light of our many deep societal problems.

Real Libertarians support Georgist, Biblical, and classical liberal land value tax policy and land use policy.

Royal Libertarians want to turn America into a banana republic by giving our roads and all of our land tax-free to the highest bidder.

A Future for all of us

  - Perhaps not for the twin Neos.

- They will have to ask for Mercy.




Ghordius's picture

"Governments don’t tend to ever cut back on wasteful spending. They reduce the level of services available to citizens and they attempt (perhaps outwardly) to continue providing that same service."

correct. and what is best policy for that? to keep governments in reasonable size. and one basic and fundamental approach? to take monetary policy out of their hands

this can be done in two ways: either back the currency in something, for example gold. or to have something like the EUR, which is not national

eurozoners, not having - for several reasons - the luxury of even thinking about going back to gold... have opted for the more convoluted way of having a non-national (bigger) currency (with one freaking mandate) and having their nations to sign treaties on budget constraints with each other

Postal's picture

Government waste employes voters. Not advocating, just observing.

cynicalskeptic's picture

 Tax subsidies for jobs never produced to keep companies from closing plants (which they do anyway) or simply to get companies to move a plant to an area (which they then close shortly thereafter)....... No-bid contracts for services or products that are unacceptable or inferior to others available (troops electrocuted in showers , their laundry never cleaned, drinking unpotable water and wearing inferior but mandated body armor... the list goes on), the innumerable items being produced to keep the pork flowing (planes, tanks and more) - ALL forms of corporate welfare that combined far outweigh that going to the individuals receiving assistance.

Republics all eventually collapse and fail when consituents realize they can get their representatives to vote them largess - and those who are already rich and powerful have a far louder voice in such things.

edotabin's picture

At least 30% goes to waste. Probably more.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Maybe 30% is waste but of the remaining 70% at least 30% of that is waste.


g'kar's picture

It's not waste, it's theft with a vig.