• Taxpayer watchdog group uncovers wasteful spending

    By: Kyla Campbell


    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Your taxpayer money is being spent on pet food ads, a reality TV show in India and travel expenses for California winery owners.

    A taxpayer watchdog group uncovered the wasteful spending and Eyewitness News reporter Kyla Campbell dug through the report to see where else your money is going.

    Congress is running out of time to come up with a long-term budget and if lawmakers can't agree on where to cut, taxpayer watchdog groups said they can help.

    The new report makes 65 specific suggestions including axing the market access program.

    "Which really makes taxpayers fund private, profitable companies to advertise abroad," said Jaimie Woo with consumer group U.S. PIRG.

    The government spent $1.3 million in taxpayer money last year to promote U.S. pet food abroad.

    "All told the market access program would save taxpayers $2 billion over the next 10 years," Woo said.

    The California Wine Institute has collected $60 million over the past decade.

    The report shows winery owners have used tax money to advertise and travel to foreign countries.

    Cotton Council International received $20 million taxpayer dollars in 2011 alone to create this reality TV show in India called "Let's Design."

    "We should be seriously asking ourselves is, why are taxpayers funding these outrageous subsidies and foreign advertisements?" Woo said.

    Congress might answer those questions with a budget blueprint due next week.

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