Moroccan Pottery, Obamaphones, and Gaydar: How the Government Wasted Your Money This Year Senator Tom Coburn released the Wastebook 2012 [PDF] today detailing the 100 most egregious wastes of taxpayer money. The two hundred page report details waste in all manner of federal spending – from multi-billion dollar programs all the way down to a $300 grant to a small-town library for a Star Wars-themed event. It’s emblematic of the waste found everywhere in the federal budget.
Coburn details a $27 million U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) program for pottery classes in Morocco. The program, which has a questionable premise in the first place, was doomed due to incompetence and mismanagement. Translators with a questionable grasp of English were hired and used materials unavailable to Moroccans. The Inspector General concluded that the program was “ineffective and poorly implemented.”