Everybody celebrates the holiday season in their own way. Each year, Senator Rand Paul invokes the spirit of the fictional grievance-airing holiday “Festivus” from Seinfeld to release an annual taxpayer waste report—and boy, is this one a doozy.
The libertarian-leaning Kentucky lawmaker’s report for 2020 finds an astounding $54.7 billion wasted by the federal government this year. (That’s not even an exhaustive figure for the federal government, nor does it account for the vast levels of waste by state and local governments.)
To put the nearly $55 billion wasted in context, Paul’s office explains that this is equivalent to wasting the taxes of more than 5.4 million Americans. It’s enough money to build a two-lane road that wraps around the entire Earth—18 times over. It’s enough money to buy every American a 40-inch flat-screen TV.