Year end review of the Best of Waste Watch

    Year end review of the Best of Waste Watch

    It’s a common phrase in Washington, D.C. – "No more wasteful spending."

    But when it comes to deciding how and where your taxpayer dollars are spent, there are several areas that have raised eyebrows from taxpayer watchdogs and lawmakers alike.

    FOX26 News reporter Kristine Frazao takes a look back at the Best of Waste Watch.

    An $85 million luxury hotel that will likely never be built in Kabul, Afghanistan.

    Buildings with no doors, windows, or flooring, and cracks in the walls that are constructed.

    The location?

    Directly across the street from the U.S. Embassy.

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said, "Now we've discovered that it's so unsafe that snipers could crawl up it and shoot down on our embassy that now we have to send soldiers over there to risk life and limb to patrol it to keep it free of snipers,"

    Then there's the long list of studies, funded by you - the taxpayer:

    • $500,000 to test if taking selfies makes us happy.
    • $700,000 for a National Science Foundation study on speech and recognition, which also re-visited Neil Armstrong's moon walk, and whether he said one small step for "A" man instead of just man.
    • $356,000 to study if Japanese quails are more sexually promiscuous while on cocaine.
    • Paying wages to soldiers in the Somali National Army.
    • Blowing leaf blowers at lizards.
    • Study on daydreaming.

    Sen. Rand Paul said, "Every time I tell this story people are like my goodness no way. They think you're almost making it up."

    Then onto Rwanda, a country where President Paul Kagame recently won a third term with 99 percent of the vote.

    Yet the U.S. government has given at least $200,000 to teach citizens there how to lobby their government. Critics say it's had the opposite effect.

    Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa, former Rwandan Ambassador to the U.S. said, "That's nonsense and the United States knows that things in Rwanda don't work like that. In Rwanda you do what government wants."

    Time and time again this year we've heard lawmakers say they want to crack down on wasteful spending. But their actions don't always match their rhetoric. As we head into 2019 with another budget battle on the horizon, we plan to keep a close eye to see what they actually do.

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