John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Ten random things: Reader Request Month, day 42

Ten winners of the Golden Fleece Award:

  1. Department of Agriculture, for spending nearly $46,000 to find out how long it takes to cook breakfast.
  2. Department of the Treasury, for its zealous support of an end-of-the-year, end run attempt to amend the tax laws at a cost to the taxpayers of over $400 million.
  3. Office of Education, for spending $219,592 to develop a "curriculum package" to teach college students how to watch television.
  4. Department of Defense, for running a $13,000, 6 year program in which a bull was tested for possible biological effects resulting from a submarine communications device.
  5. Economic Development Administration, for loaning $500,000 interest-free to a private company’s sole stockholder, for paying $314,320 in cash for a helicopter to be used by a sole stockholder, for purchasing a $65,000 lakeside cabin and for spending $1.7 million on other questionable transactions.
  6. Office of Management and Budget, for advocating cuts in domestic spending yet allowing 71 different government agencies to spend at least $12.9 million on entertainment costs in 1984.
  7. Urban Mass Transit Administration, for spending $30 billion over 20 years while transit revenues have dropped 26%, costs have increased 78%, and the taxpayers subsidy per passenger has increased 1,250%.
  8. Department of the Army, for spending $159,000 of taxpayers' dollars on decorative trees and shrubs that died within a year and had to be uprooted.
  9. National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health, for spending more than $107,000 to study the sexual behavior of Japanese quail under carefully controlled laboratory conditions.
  10. Department of Commerce, for giving the City and County of Honolulu $28,600 in 1981 to study how they could spend another $250,000 for a good surfing beach.

Today's list is for petzipellepingo, who requested fleece. The Golden Fleece Award was an "honor" presented monthly from March 1975 through December 1988 by former U.S. Senator William Proxmire (D-Wis.) for egregious wastes of government funds. The award was revived in 2000 by Taxpayers for Common Sense, but in seven years they've only managed to hand out three awards -- pretty pathetic, if you ask me.


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