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Taxpayers paid $22M for Serbian cheese upgrades, according to government waste report

We also paid singer-songwriter Bob Dylan $84,000 for a statue

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) recently published the fall edition of his Waste Report that details prodigal spending by the federal government.

According to Paul's report, taxpayer spent $230 million on items ranging from $500,000 for an unused toilet and $22 million to bring Serbian cheese up to international standards, Townhall noted.

A press release from Sen. Paul's office stated:

Once again, The Waste Report takes a closer look at just some of what the federal government is doing with the American people's hard-earned money, this time including stories of it continuing to turn over so many taxpayer dollars to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, funding research that involves hooking Zebrafish on nicotine, buying textbooks for Afghan students that are subpar or sitting in warehouses, and more in a list that totals over $230 million.

Half a million dollars for a used toilet

The report states: "From 2003 to 2017, according to the OIG, [DC] Metro spent 'approximately $500,000 maintaining a single self-cleaning toilet located at the Huntington Metro Station.'"

"The OIG cannot definitively state how much was spent because Metro lost invoices for 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2014," the report added. "To make matters worse, the toilet was not user-friendly, a documented experience shared by the news shows — though it did excel at providing some background music for users."

Taxpayers paid Bob Dylan $84,375 for a statue

The list of absurd spending items listed in the Waste Report was a payment exceeding $84,000 to music artist Bob Dylan for a statute for an American embassy.

The full list included:

  • Spent millions on the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority: $153,000,000
  • Funded debate and Model United Nations competitions in Afghanistan: $300,000
  • Funded research that involves hooking Zebra fish on nicotine: $708,466
  • Bought a statue from Bob Dylan for the embassy in Mozambique: $84,375
  • Studied the connection between drinking alcohol and winding up in the ER: $4,658,865
  • Improved the quality of Egyptian schooling: $16,000,000
  • Bought textbooks for Afghan students: $33,921,175
  • Brought Serbian cheese up to international standards: $22,000,000

"Why is the State Department buying art in the first place?" the report asked. Apparently, every time the State Department develops a new consulate or embassy, "0.5% of the value of the construction project" has to be allocated for the acquisition of art, regardless of how large the 0.5% represents.

One last thing…
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