WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US government has wasted billions of dollars in unnecessary programs that threaten to bankrupt the United States, Senator John McCain stated on Thursday announcing the publication of a report “America’s Most Wasted.”
“Unnecessary, wasteful government spending is putting America on a dangerous path, burdening future generations with a mounting national debt now totaling more than $18 trillion,” McCain said in a statement accompanying the report. “I believe the America’s Most Wasted reports should serve as a wake-up call to Congress and the American people keep their government accountable by demanding an end to wasteful government spending.”
The US Army spent $50,000 to research the ability of elephants in South Africa to detect landmines based on anecdotal evidence that African elephants are able to detect mine fields, according to the report.
“While finding new ways to enhance our bomb detection methods is important, it is unlikely that African elephants could feasibly be used on the battlefield given their large size and sensitive status as ‘threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act,” the report sad.
Even Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is sending its remaining Asian elephants to a conservation center, the report noted, adding that shifting consumer preferences regarding African elephants is one of the reasons for their decision.
“Using taxpayer funds to pay for the less tangible benefits of cobranding with billion-dollar sports leagues raises serious questions, particularly as the Guard reduces its end-strength. Instead, these funds could be put to better use in training, force modernization, or other, more directly beneficial recruiting activities,” the report said.
Highlights from the report include $30,000 in grants to support a puppet show, $14 million for duplicative catfish inspection and $15,000 to research pollution from backyard barbeques, among others.