Real Clear Policy: #WasteOfTheDay Week 86 119_WOTD_wk_86

October 7, 2022 12:50 PM



IRS Gets $80B in Additional Funding

October 3, 2022


Denver’s City Council approved a $2 million contract to give 140 homeless people in the city $1,000 each month for a year in a “basic income” pilot.

The city will give the nonprofit Denver Basic Income Project city funding as the organization embarks on its goal to give 820 homeless people cash and then study the effects.

The up to $2 million from the city will give direct cash assistance to more than 140 women, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, and families in shelters, Fox News reported.

The money comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, according to the city.

The University of Denver’s Center for Housing and Homelessness Research will evaluate the program “using a randomized control trial, which will measure housing outcomes, utilization of shelter and other homeless services, improvements in psychological health and substance use for those who opt in,” according to Fox News.

Denver resident Mark Donovan founded the Denver Basic Income Project and gave it the initial funding to give homeless cash to spend however they please. It is however, limited to those with “severe unaddressed mental health or substance abuse issues," according to the Denver Basic Income Project’s website.

“Cash is increasingly being seen as the benchmark against which all forms of aid and assistance should be compared,” Donovan said in a council committee meeting in August,” Denverite reported. “We’re building this on a principle of trust… to honor the agency of individuals to know what’s needed in their life.”

Private donors and foundations will also fund the project, and while the city’s contract is specifically for 140 women and transgender and gender-nonconforming people, the project as a whole is open to people 18 or older, connected with a partner organization.



Zoos, Museums Among Those Receiving DHS Anti-Terrorism Funds

October 4, 2022


The Department of Homeland Security spent $520 million over three years on nonprofits it deems “at high risk of terrorist attack." Some of those recipients may raise eyebrows.

DHS’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program spent $90 million in 2020, $180 million in 2021 and a whopping $250 million in 2022, funding nonprofit organizations, Judicial Watch reported.

Judicial Watch linked to a list of organizations by state that received the security grants in 2021.

“The program is a bit of a boondoggle with large sums of taxpayer dollars going to institutions unlikely to encounter a terrorist threat,” the conservative foundation reported.

On the 2021 list of those funded are a dozen museums, including the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Mississippi, which received $75,984, and the Birthplace of Country Music in Bristol, Virginia, which received $90,000.

Planned Parenthood of Maryland in Baltimore received $258,945 and three in North Carolina — in Asheville, Chapel Hill and Winston Salem — received a collective $211,566.

The open borders group UnidosUS, formerly National Council of La Raza, in the Phoenix area received $135,800 in 2021 and, oddly enough, the Detroit Zoological Society in Michigan received $106,600. Zoos in Salt Lake City, Utah and North Carolina also received six-figure grants.

Obscure museums like Frontier Days Old West Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis each received $150,000 last year to fend off terrorist attacks, according to the records.



DOJ: 44 Minnesotans Stole $240M in Covid-19 Aid

October 5, 2022


The Justice Department recently announced the largest fraud claim uncovered in any Covid-19 relief program, accusing 44 people in Minnesota of allegedly committing fraud against anti-hunger programs during the pandemic, stealing $240 million.

The group billed the government for meals “they did not serve to children who did not exist,” The New York Times reported.

The brazen fraud stands out among the many instances of federal pandemic aid theft.

Prosecutors in the North Star State said one accused conspirator told the government he had fed 5,000 children a day in a second-story apartment, The Times reported.

The alleged criminals didn’t bother to try to hide their fraud, knowing that little attention would be paid to the details while the government was overwhelmed with applications and intent to get as much money out the door as possible.

In one case, The Times reported, defendants used the website to create a fake list of children they could charge for feeding.

“Others used a number-generating program to produce ages for the children they were supposedly feeding, which led the ages to fluctuate wildly each time the group updated its list of those nonexistent children,” The Times said, citing court papers in the case.

The scheme collected millions of federal dollars every week “because government officials had relaxed oversight of the feeding program during the pandemic and because the accused fraudsters had help from a trusted insider,” The Times reported.

Instances of fraud will continue to surface from the most wasteful time in our nation’s history. A time when bureaucrats sent money to criminals, no questions asked.



Throwback Thursday: DOE Sends Bureaucrats to Life Planning Course

October 6, 2022


Throwback Thursday! 

The Department of Education spent $40,375 in 1978 — $183,403 in 2022 dollars — on a career and life-planning course for its employees, earning it a Golden Fleece Award.

Sen. William Proxmire, a Democrat from Wisconsin, gave awards to wasteful and nonsensical spending, eventually handing out 168 Golden Fleece Awards between 1975 and 1988.

He gave the award to what he referred to as The Office of Education, which was a precursor to the U.S. DOE.

The money was spent “in an attempt to give 35 of its ambitious or unhappy bureaucrats a new lease on their career lives” he said in a press release at the time.

The cost covered the almost three dozen staff members attending a “creative career and life planning” course during work hours and cost $1,153 per person.

“While I believe overburdened citizens should not have to shell out tax dollars for such purposes at all, ironically the same course with the same instructors could have been taken on employees’ own time for $475, or a total cost of $23,750 less,” Proxmire said.

The 3 ½ hour sessions over 10 days taught them “to take a holistic rather than an atomistic approach to life,” to write a 50-200 page autobiography, to analyze their hobbies, to decide how they would give away $10 million, among other things.

Proxmire said the course asked participants to “conduct an on-site personal survey of a community in the general area of where they live during which they talk to people according to a well thought out plan which leaves room for ‘improvisation, serendipity and the chance encounter.’”

Considering the Golden Fleece awards are given out for the “biggest, most ironic and ridiculous examples of wasteful spending by the federal government,” as determined by the senator, it’s no surprise the Department of Education won for the month of September 1978.



NYC Has $101B Budget But Forces NYPD Cuts

October 7, 2022


As response times to New York City’s emergencies get slower and slower, Mayor Eric Adams has told all city agencies — including police and fire — to cut their budgets by 3 percent this year and 4.75 percent next year.

First responders in the Big Apple are contending with high crime and fewer staff, making for a potentially deadly scenario in which 911 calls are getting slower responses, The New York Post reported.

Major crimes have increased this year. While shootings and murders are down, mostly everything else has increased: grand larceny rose 48 percent, from 20,374 to 30,205 incidents, auto thefts are up 42 percent, from 5,589 to 7,939, and robbery jumped almost 40 percent, from 7,366 to 10,294, over the same period in 2021, NYPD data show.

Rapes were up 10 percent, from 892 to 989, and felonious assaults increased almost 20 percent, from 13,086 to 15,640, the statistics show.

That’s as fewer cops show up to work, either retiring or quitting. As The Post put it: “The NYPD is still hemorrhaging cops.”

So it’s no surprise that response rates to the city’s worst crimes and most dire medical emergencies have slowed.

“Response times to all “crimes in progress” during the past fiscal year ending June 30 increased from 11 minutes and 40 seconds to 12 minutes and 44 seconds – or 9.1 percent, according to Mayor Adams’ first management report,” The Post reported.

That extra minute could mean a person’s life.

So when Mayor Adams announced all city agencies must cut their budgets, according to The New York Times, was he thinking about New Yorkers already suffering under strained police and fire services?

The city is facing a $10 billion deficit by 2026 thanks to the economic downturn and pandemic hurting employment, tourism and tax revenue. The city’s tax revenue is expected to fall by 7.7 percent this year, the largest drop in a dozen years, according to The Times.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at

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