Home Festivus Rand Paul’s Annual Festivus Report: Billions Wasted on Pigeon Gambing Studies, Fattening...

Rand Paul’s Annual Festivus Report: Billions Wasted on Pigeon Gambing Studies, Fattening Eels

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In this picture taken on October 25, 2021, Ryusuke Sudo feeds eel larvae at the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency in a suburb of Minamiizu, Shizuoka prefecture. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) this week released his annual Festivus Report detailing egregious, wasteful government spending over the last year. This year’s list includes money spent on “a study of pigeons gambling on slot machines, giving kids junk food, and telling citizens of Vietnam not to burn their trash.”

“Good morning everyone and welcome to everyone’s favorite holiday – Festivus!” Paul said, referring the day that centers in the airing of grievances, famously popularized by a 1997 episode of Seinfeld. 

“Festivus of course is highlighted by the airing of grievances. I’ve definitely got a lot of problems with you people,” Paul said, clarifying that he is”mostly” referring to the “petty tyrants who run your local, state and federal governments. ”

“2021 was a banner year for being a petty tyrant, with them all literally tripping over each other for the dumbest covid lockdown or mandate idea,” he added:

Good morning everyone and welcome to everyone’s favorite holiday – Festivus!

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2021

And by you people, I mostly mean the petty tyrants who run your local, state and federal governments. 2021 was a banner year for being a petty tyrant, with them all literally tripping over each other for the dumbest covid lockdown or mandate idea.

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2021

This year’s seventh annual list features $52,598,515,585 in wasteful spending. Paul took the total government waste detailed in the report, divided it by how much the average taxpayer pays ($15,332), and found that “Uncle Sam WASTED the taxes of: 3,430,636 people.”

He briefly detailed a handful of wasteful expenditures in a Twitter thread, which include $773,000,00 wasted as the result of foreign countries using U.S. aircraft for free for four years, $549,000,000 wasted on U.S.-purchased Afghan planes that were tossed out, $179,000,000 wasted on funding green energy programs in Africa, and $337,500 wasted on fattening eels for human consumption:

1. Foreign countries use our aircraft for free for 4 years (DOD) $773,000,000

2. US bought Afghanistan planes that were later thrown away (DOD) $549,000,000

3. Funding Green Energy programs in Africa (State) $179,000,000

4. • Fattening eels for human consumption (FDA) $337,500

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2021

Other wasteful items complied in the Festivus Report include: 

  • COVID relief grant for NYC to display art projects across the city………………$25,000,000
  • Constructing border walls in the Middle East and North Africa (DOD)………..$250,000,000
  • Free trips for Korean kids to visit D.C. (USAID)…………………………………… $150,000
  • Grinding up ferrets to develop COVID and flu vaccines………………………….$4,500,000
  • Tax Credit incentivizing CA residents to uninstall fireplaces……………………..$2,100,000
  • Teaching French people about US culture (State)…………………………………..$200,000
  • Developing a film about dinosaurs to inspire middle schoolers (NSF)…………… $2,500,000
  • Pigeons playing slot machines (NIH)………………………………………………..$465,339
  • Telling people to not burn their trash (USAID)………………………………….$11,300,000
  • Funding Green Energy programs in Africa (State)………………………………$179,000,000
  • Planting trees in New York City…………………………………………………$400,000,000
  • Fattening eels for human consumption (FDA)……………………………………….$337,500
  • Social Security overpayments to beneficiaries in Fiscal Year 2019 (SSA)………$4,200,000,000

Paul’s entire report can be found here.

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