Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford has issued a new report highlighting waste and inefficiency in the federal government.
Titled Federal Fumbles: Ways The Government Dropped The Ball, the football-themed report lists over $10.5 trillion in wasteful federal spending highlighting examples of wasteful or duplicative spending, along with burdensome regulations.
In this sixth volume of his series of reports exposing government waste, Lankford also offers solutions and recommendations for long-term changes that need to begin immediately to stop the wasteful spending.
"Federal Fumbles is a to-do list for me and my team, and it's also a status update for Oklahomans who are concerned about waste, fraud, and abuse of their tax dollars and what is being done to stop it," said Lankford. "As Oklahomans face 8.5 percent inflation, sky-high gas prices, and grocery bills they're struggling to pay, they rightly want to know why they see so much waste in government and what is being done to solve it. We have already utilized our findings in Fumbles to get numerous 'touchdowns' signed into law or get bad policy reversed. But there is always more to do."
"This year's report focuses on some of the biggest drivers of our debt and deficits, including President Biden's $2 billion waste at the southern border, long-term solvency issues with Social Security and Medicare, and numerous wasteful earmarks and pork in the latest spending bill, which I opposed," he explained.
"We need solutions to the issues we face, so Fumbles also focuses on recommendations for how to actually make the tough decisions, not just talk about them," the first-term Oklahoma senator added.
In volume six of Fumbles, Lankford digs deeper into big picture items like Social Security, Medicare, and federal highway funding, which is absolutely essential to many Americans but are programs that are not on firm fiscal footing because of unnecessary waste, spending, and fraud.
"After two years of overspending on COVID, it is time now more than ever to look at how the government has dropped the ball and push for real solutions to recover before more damage is done," the report's summary said.
According to the report, the top 10 fumbles by the government this year include:
- Border Boondoggle – President Biden was so determined to leave the border open that he spent $2 billion to not build the border wall.
- Robot Dogs – DHS plans to spend $90,000 - $150,000 & deploy "robot dogs" to patrol the border.
- Championing China – The NIH awarded millions of dollars directly to Peking University & the Chinese Center for Disease Control & Prevention during the pandemic.
- Russian History – The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) gave $120,000 to two authors to write books on Russian Art.
- Hanging Around – $15,000 of your taxpayer dollars went to a fund an opera about monkeys.
- Ski Jumping – $500,000 went to revamp the Nansen Ski Club in New Hampshire.
- Fishing in Guam – $3 million of your taxpayer dollars went to a fisherman's co-op in Guam.
- Soft on Crime, All in on Drugs – Biden announced a $30 million grant program called "the safe smoking kit" so people smoking crack & doing drugs can be safer about it.
- The Lobster Lobby – $569,000 went to the removal of derelict lobster pots in Connecticut.
- Sidewalks & Bike Trail – $2 million of your money went to biking trails in Vermont.
When looking through the list of waste, Lankford has one question he wants to be answered. "Where does all of this federal money come from?"
"We have a $2.8 trillion deficit, which means we're spending $2.8 trillion more in one single year than we take in. In 2019 before COVID, our national debt was $22.7 trillion. Today our debt stands at over $30 trillion – $30 trillion. That's the equivalent of $1 of spending per second for one million years – a million years!" he said. "That's the question I hear often: where does all this federal money come from? We don't have a rainy day fund. We just have more borrowing from the future or printing money."
The Oklahoma senator also pointed at the Biden administration's costly decision of not finishing the border wall that was already paid for.
"This year I've found things like $2 billion wasted because of the Biden Administration's decision to not finish building the wall at our southern border, which is already paid for. We literally paid contractors $2 billion last year not to build the border security wall. I'm also highlighting things like the most recent federal spending bill and earmarks. Things like $20 million for repairs at the U.S. Grant Presidential Library, $500,000 for an art walk project in Trenton, New Jersey, and millions of dollars for sidewalk projects and bike trails in Rhode Island and Vermont just to name a few places," Lankford said.
He also points out there are looming crises for both Social Security and Medicare if the federal government doesn't act soon.
"If we do nothing, Medicare will be insolvent and unable to pay its full benefits by 2026. Social Security is expected to go insolvent by 2034. These are not some distant years down the road; 2026 is in four years!" Lankford said. "This is a crisis we can all see coming, and we can work on solutions to address it, if we start it now. One way to help protect these benefits for the people who depend on them most is to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse of these programs."
You can read through all of Lankford's Federal Fumbles reports for the past six years on his website.
Watch the video highlighting this year's government's waste report below.