Paul's annual 'Festivus' report on fed spending finds $482B in what he calls 'wasted taxpayer' money

Paul takes particular aim at the $3.5 trillion Inflation Reduction Act that the Democrat-controlled Congress recently passed.

Published: December 23, 2022 10:11am

Updated: December 23, 2022 3:22pm

Sen. Rand Paul on Friday released his annual federal spending audit in which the Kentucky Republican found what he considers about $500 billion in wasted taxpayer resources – from billions on COVID-19 relief funds to ineligible recipients to a $118,000 study on the Marvel movie villain Thanos.

Paul’s 2022 Festivus Report – inspired by the send-up Festivus holiday on the "Seinfeld" sitcom – finds "a whopping $482,276,543,907" worth of federal waste, according to Fox News.

Paul takes particular aim at the $3.5 trillion Inflation Reduction Act that the Democrat-controlled Congress recently passed.

“Who’s to blame?” asks Paul, who further argues the bill “ultimately does nothing to truly combat rising inflation rates." 

He released the report one day after the Senate passed a $1.9 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through fiscal 2023.

Paul in his report appears to put the blame on Washington Democrats and Republicans, calling those responsible for the passage of both simply "big spenders."

Paul’s report targets the big and small – from the $475 billion spent to pay interest on the national debt to the Defense Department spending nearly $200,000 on espresso machines from Starbucks, Fox News also reports.

"At least Americans can rest assured that our military personnel will be perky and energetic even as they pour American taxpayer dollars – and perhaps a few overpriced coffee grounds – down the drain," the report states.

The report also shows the National Science Foundation spent $118,000 to discover that it was unlikely that Thanos could snap his fingers while wearing the Infinity Glove and make half of all life in the universe disappear.

The group White Coat Waste Project on Friday praised Paul's efforts, specifically those that pointed out taxpayer-funded animal experiments associated with the National Institutes of Health. 

"Senator Rand Paul’s annual Festivus Report provides a reliable roadmap of reckless government spending," said Jennifer Imhoff, a spokesperson for the group.

"A growing majority of taxpayers – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike – oppose Uncle Sam’s wasteful animal experiments and don’t want to be forced to pay for them. ... We’re proud to work with Sen. Paul on our bipartisan efforts to find, expose and defund $20 billion in wasteful taxpayer-funded animal experiments in the U.S. and in hundreds of labs abroad. Stop the money. Stop the madness!”

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