TCS Awards shine a light on lawmakers, federal projects, and taxpayer advocates. TCS’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Award honors lawmakers and activists who have made a difference to taxpayers across America. The Golden Fleece Award embodies both outrage and humor as it puts a spotlight on projects that waste taxpayer money.

Golden Fleece Award    

From surfing subsidies to the Great Wall of Bedford, Indiana, Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire’s Golden Fleece Award protected taxpayers … and made them laugh! One of the most popular and enduring icons of American politics, Senator Proxmire’s Golden Fleece Award embodied both outrage and humor as it put the public spotlight on waste and abuse of taxpayer money.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the famous waste-busting award, Senator Proxmire asked Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) to revive the Golden Fleece Award. The first revived Golden Fleece was awarded to the FAA for fleecing taxpayers out of a half a billion dollars in lost taxpayer revenue at the Tampa International Airport. The most famous award recipient? The Bridge to Nowhere.

Now, Taxpayers for Common Sense awards “The Golden Fleece” when a project so symbolizes waste of taxpayer dollars – instead of investments worthy of those limited resources – that we feel compelled to give it extra public attention.

In honor of Senator Proxmire, Taxpayers for Common Sense also collected the complete history of the Golden Fleece for the education and enjoyment of taxpayers of all generations. Working from the Senator's files, TCS has summarized the 14-year history of fleeces from 1975 to 1988. From this list, TCS has also selected its favorite awards and presents them here in a Golden Fleece Top Ten List.

"The Wisconsin Democrat has long been the taxpayer’s champion in Congress.”
--The Wall Street Journal

For more about the Golden Fleece

"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" Award    

Taxpayers for Common Sense presents the "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" Award to lawmakers and citizen activists whose leadership and dedication make a difference to taxpayers. As in the classic film bearing the same name, these modern-day Davids take on the Goliaths of out-of-control federal spending, scoring victories for the American taxpayer.

About Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Award
Recent Recipients
Past Recipients

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