Where would we be without Senator Tom Coburn? Without the Oklahoma Republican we'd have no idea just how wasteful our government is with taxpayer dollars.
Coburn, for example, brought us this indelible image- the shrimp on the treadmill that the National Science Foundation was studying the effects of disease on performance. $500,000 taxpayer went to that one.
Lest you think it's all scientists that waste our money, think again. The Senator is back with another study- this time uncovering waste at the Department of Homeland Security, and there was plenty of it.
First off- zombie apocalypse training. That's right. As part of our crack Homeland response, the DHS brought in a tactical training firm to simulate an attack by zombies (like in the movies). Since zombies are fictional, they were portrayed by 40 actors who were "gunned" down by a military unit. The "training" occurred at a week-long conference held at Paradise Point Resort and Spa in San Diego. The cost was a bargain at $1,000, and now we know how to protect ourselves from zombies.
Then there was the Columbus, Ohio underwater robot that provides a video display to a vehicle on shore and costs $98,000.
I’m not clear why land-locked Columbus needed an underwater robot, but officials there declared the purchase was an emergency because of grant deadlines. In other words, if the money was not spent quickly, it would have returned to the Treasury. So, clearly, wasting the money is a better option.
Not to be out done, Seattle bought a remote control helicopter for traffic accidence surveillance. Not really an issue of National Security, but there you have it. The $41,000 copter operates by remote control and its main use is monitoring traffic accidents.
Oh, by the way, one more thing. If you do a search, take a look at the cover of Coburn’s report- pretty fancy, right? I wonder how much taxpayers paid for that. We need a Senator Coburn to cover Senator Coburn's spending. At least that’s what I think.
The Willis Report with Gerri Willis investigates the top business stories, outs corporate scams and polices D.C. policy.