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U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake releases latest report on egregious government spending

50 examples of egregious government spending including fish on a treadmill, loans repaid in peanuts, and a Desperate Housewives-watching computer

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today released Wastebook: PORK√©mon Go, highlighting 50 examples of outrageous and wasteful federal spending amounting to more than $5 billion. This is Flake’s second edition of the Wastebook series, started by retired Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

Among the 50 examples of egregious federal spending uncovered in Flake’s 2017 report are a program that accepts peanuts for loan repayments, a computer that binge-watches Desperate Housewives, and a study into what happens when you put a fish on a treadmill.

To help combat some of the wasteful spending featured in the report, Flake will introduce the Stop Paying U.S. in Peanuts Act to end the nutty program that allows federal loans to be repaid in peanuts.

Flake will also be reintroducing legislation to permanently prohibit the practice of earmarking.

“Government boondoggles come in all shapes and sizes and pop up just about everywhere,” said Flake. “Hopefully this report will be a guide to catch egregious spending lurking in the federal budget.”

Highlights from Flake’s 2017 edition of Wastebook include:


$1.7 million for a comedy club starring holograms of dead comedians

$74 million for a program that allows taxpayer-backed loans to be repaid with peanuts

$1.5 million to test the endurance of a fish on a treadmill

$5 million to study the partying habits of fraternities and sororities

$460,000 for a computer to binge-watch “Desperate Housewives” and “The Office” in order to learn human behavior

$3.5 million to learn why people are afraid of going to the dentist

$817,000 to study monkey drool

$3.4 million for hamster cage fight matches

$300,000 to study if girls or boys spend more time playing with Barbie dolls

$450,000 to determine if dinosaurs could sing

$12 million for an IRS unused e-mail archiving service

The full report can be viewed here.

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