Politicians, government agents, bureaucrats and employees, during both good times and bad, enjoy royalty style immunity from the ordinary economic hardships of their subjects, the common people.
They think nothing about taking advantage of extravagant perks, recklessly spending taxpayer money on seemingly unlimited budgets, while the rest us are forced to tighten our belts and change our spending habits in order to make ends meet.
The latest reported outrage involves longstanding freeloading activities within the United States Department of Justice, including out of control spending on expensive food and beverages at routine meetings and conferences for employees, including a $76-per-person lunch at one workshop..
In the years 2008 and 2009 alone, for instance, the department hosted or participated in 1,832 conferences for employees costing a whopping $121 million in taxpayer dollars according to a recent report from the Justice Department’s own inspector general.
Food and beverages at just 10 of those conferences cost the D.O.J. $490,000 – nearly half a million dollars -- about 10% out of the $4.4 million total cost of the events. At one
, legal conference, a total of $4,200 was spent on just 250 muffins. That amounts to more than $16 per muffin. Washington, D.C.
At another conference, the 65 lucky participants enjoyed lunches costing $65 per person, together with a snack break later consisting of Cracker Jack, popcorn and candy bars costing $32 per person. Coffee alone was billed at more than $1 per ounce – that’s a dollar for a shot glass sized full of coffee.
All of this comes on top of a previous D.O.J. audit report which found similar over the top spending at conferences held between October 2004 and September 2006, including such extravaganza’s as $53-per-person lunches, and a $60,000 reception that served Swedish meatballs costing $5 each.
That report documented the fact that the D.O.J. maintained “few internal controls to limit the expense of conference planning and food and beverage costs at D.O.J. conferences.”
“Our assessment of food and beverage charges revealed that some D.O.J. components did not minimize conference costs as required by federal and D.O.J. guidelines,” the report concludes. There are people responsible for this outrage that should be going to jail as far as I’m concerned.
This is hardly unusual but typical of government spending at every level in
; federal, state, and local. It’s remarkably easy for politicians and bureaucrats of all stripes to spend other people’s money. America
It’s the governor of
and her political cronies blowing $127,000 in taxpayer dollars on a posh 5-star hotel European jobs hunting excursion. South Carolina
It’s the $60 billion lost to waste and fraud over the past decade in
due to lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and outright corruption. Iraq
It’s feeding all the parasites at 524 separate executive branch departments, agencies, and offices, not including the many hundreds of additional sub-entities and favored political beneficiaries, all feeding voraciously from the government trough.
It’s the Tomahawk cruise missiles costing $1 million to $1.5 million each, and the $550 million wasted so far on the War in
It’s the $2.5 million dollars spent on a humanoid Robonaut for the International Space Station, and thousands upon thousands of other little things, together with all the big stuff, that bleeds the taxpayers drop by drop until all of a sudden it’s $14.5 Trillion in the red.
In a serious economic recession like the one occurring today, government and its minions are always the last ones to suffer.