Written by Biloxi
As we are bombarded everyday on media in the world politics, this story that I read on Friday was a must missed by the media. As the talking heads and media were so fixated on President Obama’s remarks at a press conference on how the private sectors are doing “just fine” in this economy, GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s response to the President’s remarks, the DOJ investigation into GOP lawmakers’ accusation that someone in the Obama Administration is leaking national security information, etc. there was very little news in the media of Senator Tom Coburn released report exposing unspent federal money hidden in a forgotten federal bank accounts. Where is the media on this story?
These are the Congressional leaders that we sent to Washington to represent our states. The same lawmakers that are paid $174,000 a year, get nine weeks vacation and doesn’t expect to do much in return. These are the same lawmakers that are bickering in Washington that they can’t compromise with one another to fix the economy and figure out how to paid for certain bills that they want to pass, yet, thanks, to Senator Coburn’s report, Money For Nothing, Coburn finds big bucks that Congress doesn’t want the public to know or want to use to pay down the deficit. Here are some of the highlights of mismanagment of money on projects:
Back in 2005, $45-million was set aside for project for a futuristic magnetic levitation train across the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas. The fund remain unspent.
$568 million leftover and unspent from a program that ended in which tax money Congress set aside to help 30,000 unemployed families avoid foreclosure.
$34.6 billion of TARP money left unspent to help homeowners fight foreclosure .
$13 billion in federal funds earmarked by Congress for highway projects sits unspent.
$2.7 million still leftover and unspent in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bank account – money that, by law, can only be spent on an event that ended more than 15 years ago.
And here is another case of mismanagement of money that prevented assistance from reaching those in need of HIV/AIDS services disturbing. Page 32:
In the nation’s capital—just blocks from the U.S. Capitol—the District of Columbia government cut nearly $3 million from HIV/AIDS programs at the same time it left more than $3 million for such services unspent. The city’s HIV/AIDS Administration “was unable to spend at least $3 million of its budget due to what appears to be internal, administrative problems,” according to an investigation. While bureaucratic problems may have been stopping the payment of HIV/AIDS services for those impacted by the disease, the HIV/AIDS Administration did spend about $450,000 to produce and videotape World AIDS Day events and $59,300 to cater a World AIDS Day cocktail party and reception attended by 200 people, which comes to nearly $296 per person for the single event. 111
Nearly 500 patients living with HIV/AIDS in Florida are currently on waiting lists for lifesaving AIDS medication while year after the year the state fails to spend a half-a-million dollars or more provided by the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
The Florida ADAP waiting list was instituted June 1, 2010112 and a total of 439 patients were on list as of April 20, 2012.113 In addition to the waiting list for medicine, the ADAP formulary was also reduced in August 2010 to limit the drugs patients could receive.114
During this time, “potentially millions of federal dollars” intended for HIV/AIDS services in Florida were unused. There were “pools of money left unspent” including about $500,000 last year and $1.8 million over the past five years.
Local officials claim “none of those unspent federal funds are being returned to Washington but are instead carried over into the next year’s local budget.”115 But AIDS activists blame complex reviews for tying up the funds that are very much needed to aid those in need.
When Congress from both parties point fingers at each other for the ballooned deficit and lack of fixing the economy, certainly two fingers should be pointed at them for not taken responsibility to keeping and managing their fiscal house in order because this is very shameful. If Congress were employees in the private sector and their performance at the job is the same as their current performance in Congress, they would be fired in a heart beat.