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How the EPA is a giant tax dollar sinkhole

How the EPA is a giant tax dollar sinkhole

$700,000 to attempt to reduce methane emitted from pig flatulence in Thailand seems like taxpayer money well spent, right?

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake released a report on the EPA’s misuse of taxpayer money called the Science of Splurging.

“For an agency keen to regulate every puddle from a rainstorm, the EPA has proven itself remarkably inept when it comes to managing its own affairs,” said Flake. “After years of handing out blank checks in the form of omnibus appropriations bills and continuing resolutions, it’s time for Congress to return to regular order and restore accountability at the EPA.”

Featuring over a dozen instances of flagrant waste, the Science of Splurging highlights some of the following:

  • $1,100,000 to pay the salaries of eight employees who were not working due to being placed on administrative leave
  • $3,500,000 to fund “Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health” workshops across the country
  • $1,500,000 annually to store out-of-date and unwanted publications at an Ohio warehouse
  • $700,000 to attempt to reduce methane emitted from pig flatulence in Thailand
  • $900,000 in salary, benefits and improper bonuses paid to an oft-absent employee who fraudulently claimed to be an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

While every instance of tax dollar misuse is outrageous and unacceptable, that the EPA has been paying employees to not work is probably at the top of the “Peak Aggravation” chart. How nice it would be to spend an entire year getting paid, but not working. At least four EPA employees were fortunate enough to catch up daytime TV while bilking taxpayers, according to Flake’s report.

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Then of course there was the time the EPA commissioned a $40,000 portrait of former, disgraced administrator, Lisa Jackson, and also the time the EPA tried to buy tweets about diarrhea to research stomach flu and let’s not forget when the EPA paid out over half a million dollars in improper bonuses to “retain employees with unique qualifications.”

If there was a contest to see which government agency most creatively wasted tax dollars, the EPA would be a serious contender.

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Comments

“…it’s time for Congress to return to regular order and restore accountability at the EPA.”

Well, close. And full marks for a good impulse.

It’s time for Congress to return to regular order and restore accountability. (See the period?)

The EPA is the most destructive agency in the government. Why wouldn’t it also be the most arrogant, corrupt and stupid?

    Ragspierre in reply to irv. | December 2, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Naw, naw, naw (in Ragpierre’s best Rev. Wright growl).

    THAT title belongs to the IRS, going away.

    Now, the EPA IS a strong contender for second place in the tyranny sweepstakes.

“to research stomach flu”
EPA trying to muscle in on the CDC’s territory?

filiusdextris | December 3, 2014 at 8:49 am

“While every instance of tax dollar misuse is outrageous and unacceptable, that the EPA has been paying employees to not work is probably at the top of the “Peak Aggravation” chart. How nice it would be to spend an entire year getting paid, but not working. At least four EPA employees were fortunate enough to catch up daytime TV while bilking taxpayers, according to Flake’s report.”

What are the underlying facts of those cases? In general, do you recommend simply firing the possibly-innocent employees without an investigation? or not paying them during the investigation, thus jeopardizing their physical and financial health? Would you rather they continue working, jeopardizing who-knows-what? Maybe the investigations are taking too long, but again, I would want to know the facts, before lambasting anyone. What’s your preferred alternative?

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