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Federal fiascoes of 2011: What tops the list

Want to sound off on pay freezes, government shutdowns and Muffingate? Now you can, by voting on the biggest federal fiascoes of 2011.

Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe announced earlier this week on the Federal Eye blog that he was looking for readers’ help to determine the biggest government “oops.”

And readers were more than happy to oblige: At the time of writing, 7314 votes have been cast on 12 ideas. Did the mismanagement at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary anger you? Vote for it. Were you bemused when the social media world erupted in outrage over a Transportation Security Administration screener's note telling a passenger “Get Your Freak On?” It's on the list too.

But what really disgusts many is federal waste. Benefits paid to dead government workers and stimulus recipients owing millions in taxes currently top the list of “oops,” followed by the Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” scandal and the various threats of government shutdown.

You can vote on existing ideas or even submit your own. Think the supercommittee’s breakdown was a scandal? Or that Solyndra was an outrage? Perhaps you’d like to include a particular government official on this list, someone who embodies public sector flops? (Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is already on the list.) Submit your vote on Federal Eye or on Twitter, using the #govoops hashtag.

You can also share your comments here below on what other events (or people) deserve to be on the list of federal failures. It won't count in the Post's poll, but we're interested.

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Dec 09, 2011 at 12:19 PM


Reader comments

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 proponent for change oklahoma city

I think it's ludacris that the government would consider adding one more government program (Obama Health Care) when Social Security, Medicare, the federal budget and the bailout failed so miserably. Apparently we can't understand proposed legislation, (Pelosi on healthcare), we can't enforce regulations that already exist, (banking, mortgage, finance, border control) and only half of us foot the bill for all of it. I propose from this point on, only the Americans paying the bills get the vote on how the money should be spent (just like when the kids lived at home). Like our fallen ancestors, the Roman Empire, the age of entitlement is over and it should be "back to basics" which means no new regs/agencies and cutbacks when taxpayers feel they're warranted. Congress has already conceded so maybe it's time we give it a try!

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 Marooned Fed Home Owner

The GOP for giving my tax payer money to the rich who dirtied their own sandbox and sold this country overseas while hard working American's working 50 hours a week are facing forclosure because of PAY CUTS, FREEZES, FURLOUGH DAYS etc and can't sell those same houses because the Rich benefiting forclure industry (Flip this house etc) is driving home prices down so we can't refinance our mortgages!

Tue, Dec 13, 2011 Stig Larsen

TSA gets my vote for a too powerful dept. who, under the guise of protecting us from 'terrorists' and with the protection of the Orwellian 'Patriot Act', treat american travelers with disrespect and a fascist like approach that makes flying a chore rather than a pleasure.

Tue, Dec 13, 2011

I think the bailout for the banks was stupid. The American people should have received that money instead. People would hasve bought things; paid off things; whatever. Congress has forgotten the people that put them there. They shouldn't get a dime until they fix something. They certainly don't care about the average Joe.

Tue, Dec 13, 2011

D'OH. Maybe that's the problem! (See above response). We've been going to the BALLET box, and watching the Nutcracker, rather than going to the BALLOT box, and voting! Silly us! LOL But seriously, how about a little positive reinforcement? What GOOD things has the government accomplished? (Hints: Osama; Iraq; recession not Depression (so far); ..., etc. "If you can't say something good, say nothing."

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