Saturday 23 December 2023

Barbie Fraud, Meth Monkeys: Rand Paul’s Annual ‘Festivus Report’ Shows $900 Billion In Government Waste

 Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on Friday released this year’s “Festivus Report,” the senator’s annual tally of government waste that highlights glaring and often humorous examples.

This year, the report counted $900 billion in wasted taxpayer dollars.

“As Congress spends to reward its favored industries and pet projects, the American taxpayers are forced to pay the price through record high inflation and crippling interest rates,” the report said. “The same big spenders teamed up, yet again, to continue sending Americans’ hard-earned money to foreign countries and funding endless wars, all while ignoring our porous southern border.”

The name of the Festivus Report refers to the parody holiday invented by George Coztanza’s father Frank in “Seinfeld,” a “Festivus for the rest of us,” which includes the “airing of grievances.”

One of the most eye-popping examples of waste cited by the report involved Barbie dolls.

Fraudsters used the faces of Barbie dolls as profile pictures to apply for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) pandemic Paycheck Protection Program. An AI verification system failed to flag the Barbie pictures, and the program “carelessly approved” the fraudsters and sent them money, the report said.

The SBA also spent $200 million on pandemic support to “small business” artists that ended up including big names like Usher, Nickelback, Post Malone, Chris Brown, Smashing Pumpkins, and Lil Wayne, the report said.

Among the bigger expenses, in fiscal year 2023, the Treasury spent $659 billion on just the interest on the national debt, much of that borrowed from China, the report noted.


“We borrow from China to pay the interest on funds we couldn’t afford to spend in the first place,” the report said.

Several examples of waste involved monkeys.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) paid a local company $33.2 million to care for about 3,000 monkeys on a South Carolina island before they are sent to research labs around the country, the report said.

The NIH also approved funding for researchers to study the sleep habits of monkeys who were given meth in the morning, according to the report.

Another monkey example involved a study focusing on trans-identifying men and HIV. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) spent more than $477,000 on the study, which gave male monkeys female hormones to examine how cross-sex hormones might affect the immune systems of trans-identifying men when it comes to HIV.

In another outlandish example, the NIH approved a grant to study Russian cats walking on a treadmill, the report said.

The NIH also funded a $3.8 million study on “COVID-19 misinformation exposure on social media among Black and Rural communities,” the report said.


The U.S. also spent taxpayer dollars boosting tourism in Egypt. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) approved $6 million for this purpose, according to the report.

On the military side, the Department of Defense destroyed more than $169 million of military equipment simply by leaving it outside, the report said.

The Biden administration also spent a whopping $236 billion on “improper payments,” which means payments made to the wrong person, in the wrong amount or for the wrong reason, the report said.

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) also spent taxpayer dollars on “cutting- edge” research that measured the rectal temperatures of 16 dogs and found that their fur color did not affect their body temperatures after a hot summer walk, the report said.

This marks the ninth year Paul has released a “Festivus Report.”

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