Good afternoon folks - 

You sent me to Congress with a specific mission: cut wasteful spending and make Washington squeal.

We both know that Washington’s reckless spending is spiraling out of control, and today, we are more than $19 trillion dollars in debt! That means every Iowan’s share of the national debt exceeds $59,000.

Think about that for a moment: $59,000. What does that amount mean to you?

For many Iowans, that amount could mean a college degree at a public university in Iowa.

A family of four in Iowa could buy five years' worth of groceries.

Or, a farmer could use that money to raise an additional 400 pigs, helping our agricultural economy for Iowans across the state.

Rather than using those hard-earned dollars for an education, food, or agricultural needs, Iowans are forced to pay for Washington’s repeated reckless spending habits. We must put an end to this radical spending.

I take seriously the responsibility you have entrusted in me to make Washington more competent and less wasteful.

As Tax Day approaches, and Iowans are forced to turn over more of their hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam, I am taking a close look as to how efficiently our government is actually operating.

Every month, I will be researching and identifying areas of waste, abuse and inefficiencies. Then, once a month, I will give out the Squeal Award, which recognizes a Washington expense, program or concept that has proven to be wasteful and must be cut.

Squeal Award: TSA Randomizer

Earlier this month, news reports exposed that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spent tens of thousands of dollars on a mobile application called the “randomizer.” You may have seen these while traveling through an airport; an arrow on a screen of an iPad that randomly tells passengers to go to the left or right line.

As Mashable notes: “If the app looks simple, that's because it is. As others have pointed out, such an app could easily be created by any beginning-level coder. (In fact, creating a random number generator is a commonly used beginning programming lesson.) Yet this app was apparently worth tens of thousands of dollars to the TSA. While the documents don't mention the randomizer app by name, documents detailing the $336,413.59 contract were provided…in response to a FOIA request for documents relating to the randomizer software. Other publicly available records show the app was part of a larger contract with IBM worth more than $1.4 million. The total development cost for the randomizer app was $47,400, a TSA spokesperson told Mashable, which was part of the $336,413.59 contract. The spokesperson declined to elaborate on what else the contract entailed.”

Shockingly, Daily Mail makes the point that this app, which cost $47,000 to develop, could have been developed for just $20!

Even Mother Jones acknowledged in their headline: “TSA Sets New Coding Standard: $47,000 Per Hour for iPad Apps”

It is silly, irresponsible, and downright wasteful to spend our tax dollars on this app, when TSA agents could instead simply flip a coin and deliver the same results!

Because of this wasteful spending, I hereby present the TSA Randomizer app with this month’s Squeal Award

Do you have an example of government waste or inefficiencies that I should take a look at? Send me an email by clicking here. To learn more about what I'm doing to make 'em squeal click here.

Thank you!