US Sen. Tom Coburn’s final “wastebook” identifies a laundry list of federal programs the retiring Oklahoma Republican says the nation could do without, including a Pentagon program to build a “real-life ‘Iron Man’ suit.”
The self-described “fiscal hawk,” on Wednesday unveiled his “ 2014 wastebook ,” which is signature Coburn: blunt and aimed at just about every federal agency, including those in the national defense apparatus.
“The world increasingly appears to be in disarray with the chaos, confusion and uncertainty growing ever closer. All the while, the leadership in our nation’s capital is ever more distant, disconnected, and absent,” Coburn writes in its opening pages.
“The problem is not just what Washington isn’t doing, but what it is doing,” he writes. “Instead of working together to solve these challenges, the politicians are more focused on getting re-elected than conducting the business they were elected to address in the first place.”
The table of contents lists 100 federal programs the veteran lawmaker says are wasteful. That lists includes something called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) program.
The idea is to build an exoskeleton that allows for the toting of heavy gear and an internal computing system.
“Some of the potential technologies planned for TALOS research and development include advanced armor, situational awareness, command and control computers, power management systems, and enhanced mobility exoskeletons,” according to a September 2013 Army statement.