The 2020 Festivus Report is here:
To quote The Lord of the Rings, “It’s gone. It’s done… It’s over now.” A year that will live long in our memories (for mostly the wrong reasons), 2020, is drawing to a close. We’ve had 15-day lockdowns to stop COVID from spreading now stretching into nearly a year, wreaking havoc on Americans’ health, sanity, and economy, while also empowering petty tyrants across the country. Let’s just say 1968, the benchmark for a news-heavy and chaotic year, got serious competition from 2020.
While that was happening, Congress spent as never before, doing so ostensibly without a care. The Congressional Budget Office says the Fiscal Year 2020 deficit was an eye-watering $3.1 trillion, with a “T.” Some of that is traceable to COVID-related spending, but a lot of it was not. For example, perhaps somebody can explain to me why the Kennedy Center needed $25 million for salaries? Or why Congress reimbursed some agencies for money they had spent in late 2019 and early 2020, before COVID hit, on efforts unrelated to COVID? Maybe, just maybe, cutting agencies blank checks is why the debt skyrocketed from $23 trillion to more than $27 trillion. Spending was about 50% higher than last year, and payments of interest on the public debt remained extremely high at $387 billion. If you laid out that many $1 bills end to end, it’d be enough to wrap around the earth 1,506 times. And that’s money the government spends that doesn’t help anybody — doesn’t even buy a pen or a paper clip.
It is more important than ever for Congress to find its fiscal backbone. Our debt puts at risk the
long-term solvency of major programs such as Social Security. And why? To pay for test tubes for
COVID tests that turn out to be soda bottles? To see if hot tubbing a few times a week eases stress?
Or is the risk worth it so we can literally lose drones over Afghanistan?!? You’ll find all that, and more, in this year’s edition of my Festivus Report, highlighting $54,746,524,505.37 of totally wasted money. So, before we get to the Feats of Strength, it’s time for my Airing of (Spending) Grievances!
With some of the fun:
The whole report is worth the read. However, for my time-constrained readers, you absolutely don’t want to miss any of these gems in particular:
So, now we ask:
- Do you think you could you have spent $54,746,524,505.37 better than the federal government?
I don’t know about you, but I think I could have figured out a few better things to put the money toward.
Just a hunch, though.