Well, my fellow taxpayers, the fella at the North Pole has nothing on us.

We’ve been Santas, too!

Senator Tom Coburn has just released his “Wastebook 2011,” a new oversight report that lists $6.5 billion worth of “unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects” for which we Santas picked up the tab.

In releasing the report, Coburn said:

Congress cannot even agree on a plan to pay for the costs of extending jobless benefits to the millions of Americans who are still out of work. Yet, thousands of millionaires are receiving unemployment benefits and billions of dollars of improper payments of unemployment insurance are being made to individuals with jobs and others who do not qualify.

And remember those infamous bridges to nowhere in Alaska that became symbols of government waste years ago? The bridges were never built, yet the federal government still spent more than a million dollars just this year to pay for staff to promote one of the bridges.

Here are some highlights:

• $75,000 to promote awareness about the role Michigan plays in producing Christmas trees & poinsettias.

• $550,000 for a documentary about how rock music contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

• $764,825 to study how college students use mobile devices for social networking.

• $48,700 for 2nd annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival, to promote Hawaii’s chocolate industry.

Here is one I would like to especially deplore:

• $35 million allocated for political party conventions in 2012.

Hey, Democrats and Republicans, if you can’t throw your own party, don’t have one.

Most of Coburn’s projects are not only ridiculous but also consist of projects that should not be undertaken by the government.

Rick Moran of the American Thinker admonishes:  

Don't let the small amounts fool you. There are many thousands of such line item expenditues in the budget that need to be examined by asking the question; "Is this really something the national government should be spending tax dollars on?"

Some might pass that test. Many more would not. The problem is that there are so many, it is almost beyond the capacity of the human mind to comprehend. The thousands and thousands of pages that make up the national budget cannot be seen in its totality so that the impact of the waste is diminished by the sheer, overwhelming amount of information one has to absorb to make rational choices.

The budget is out of control because there are thousands of these kinds of questionable expenditures that nobody wants to bother taking out because the process is so cumbersome.