Sen. Rand Paul’s ‘Festivus Report’ exposes more than $52 billion in government waste

As the Biden administration’s efforts to spend taxpayer dollars continue with no end in sight, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has released his annual “Festivus Report” exposing federal government waste.

The concept of “Festivus” comes from a 1997 episode of the popular sitcom “Seinfeld.” The fictional December 23 holiday is meant to be an alternative to Christmas — a time for people to air their grievances from the past year.

The libertarian-leaning GOP senator’s report uncovered $52,598,515,585 in government waste in its 2021 report, Paul’s office said in a news release Wednesday.

“Happy Festivus! How can 2021 already be coming to a close? What a year it’s been,” the report said. “And, it’s safe to say that some big changes have occurred since last year’s Festivus Report.

“Mask mandates, travel restrictions and lock-downs were lifted across many parts of the country. President Biden was inaugurated. Inflation has skyrocketed. The Kardashians finally ended their TV show after 14 years. ‘Dad bod’ was officially added to Webster’s Dictionary. And how about the Federal government?” it added. “Well, unsurprisingly, it managed to keep spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need.”

The report, which was divided into sections for “COVID-19 spending,” “Afghanistan,” and “Miscellaneous,” was not short on examples.

For instance, in discussing Paycheck Protection Program waste, the report noted that the “Small Business Administration (SBA) sent as much as $4.29 billion to people who weren’t eligible to receive loans or who received duplicate loans.”

The report also estimated $36 billion in “improper” unemployment insurance payments, and highlighted $1.27 million in COVID relief funds sent to a Baltimore school for 140 students who were not actually enrolled in that school.

Moreover, the federal government spent $549 million on aircraft for the Afghan Air Force that were eventually sold as scrap metal, plus a whopping $2.4 billion on buildings in Afghanistan that currently are “sitting unused, are not being used for their intended purpose, have deteriorated, or have been entirely destroyed,” the report said.

In the “Miscellaneous” section, Paul’s report pointed out that the federal government spends money teaching France about U.S. culture, subsidizing a study where pigeons are taught to play slot machines, and telling the Vietnamese people to “stop burning their trash.”

Assuming that the average taxpayer pays about $15,000 in taxes, Paul’s report estimated that the federal government “wasted the taxes of” more than 3.4 million people.

“It seems like just yesterday the national debt was $20 trillion, but now the U.S. has managed to breeze past $28 trillion, spending and wasting more than we ever have,” Paul told The Daily Wire.

“While some in Washington insist on recklessly spending your taxpayer dollars, I will continue to shed light on some of the most egregious examples of government waste, and fight against excessive federal spending.”