While the American private sector peon class, me included, have been suffering the terrible effects of the 2007 economic meltdown, the same meltdown that persists to this day, federal government parasites within the Bush and Obama Administrations were spending taxpayer money like there was no tomorrow.
The latest appalling revelation represents only the tip of a huge wasteful government spending iceberg – just one subdivision of a single government agency among hundreds of federal government agencies. It’s the 2010 biennial conference hosted by the General Service Administration’s (GSA) western outposts, a four day extravaganza where government agency parasites go every two years for parties and fun at lavish locations funded by the taxpayers.
Recent conferences were held in New Orleans, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Lake Tahoe, where the Caesars hotel provided lakefront views, a lagoon-style indoor swimming pool and a 24-hour casino. The latest GSA “Western Regions” conference was held during October 2010 at the luxury M Resort Spa Casino off the Las Vegas strip.
Three hundred employees from the agency’s Public Buildings Service gathered for the event billed as a “Showcase of World-Class Talent,” where the top agency parasites stayed in two-story, 2,400-square-foot loft suites with wet bars and multiple HD televisions. For the rest of the group there were after-hours parties, a $7,000 sushi reception, $44-per-head-breakfasts, a $3,200 mind reader, a clown, and $130,000 spent just on pre-conference scouting trips alone.
All in all, more than $840,000 was spent on the affair, which works out to about $2,800 per person over just four days.
Organizers held an “awards ceremony” on the last day, complete with a “Red Carpet” show and a “Talent Award Showcase” that recognized musical performance among the employees, who were told that the event was called an “awards ceremony” so federal money could be spent on food. It was “a running joke” among employees.
The event’s main organizer, Jeffrey E. Neely, acting administrator for the GSA Pacific Rim region, told his staff to make the conference “over the top” and “bigger and better” than previous conferences. Employees who suggested this was a bad idea were ignored.
Mr. Neely reportedly hosted an in-room “party” on the evening of the closing dinner. A relative of his who was not a GSA employee helped select food for the party, co-hosted the event, and contacted the event planner to add more food, commenting, “Knowing we have a bit more money in the budget helps.”
The Obama administration, which has known about this fiasco all along, but did nothing about it until the press got wind of it, is now deflecting some of the flack to the former Bush administration, and rightly so. They point out that the cost of the Western Regional Conference increased sharply under the Bush White House -- from $93,000 in 2004 to $323,855 in 2006 to $655,025 in 2008, then $840,616 in 2010 under Obama.
“At least we have taken, bold, swift forceful action to hold those responsible accountable and put in place protections to make sure this never happened again,” said a White House spokesman.
They’ve ordered the resignation of GSA administrator Martha Johnson and fired two of her top deputies. The new acting administrator has told employees that he was canceling conferences similar to the Las Vegas blowout, ones held exclusively for “internal staff.”
Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, will investigate the misuse of federal money. “The Las Vegas fiasco is just the tip of the iceberg,” Mica said during a recent news conference, where he also complained about vacant or underused government buildings.
Meanwhile a video has surfaced showing GSA employees and officials singing and joking about the agency's excessive spending at the 2010 conference. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) circulated the video showing employees rapping to the tune of Travie McCoy's pop hit "Billionaire."
Titled "Federal Worker ‘American Idle,” the video was part of the talent competition at the 2010 Las Vegas conference. A GSA employee mocks other federal agencies for not being able to afford flat screen televisions and new cars and brags about avoiding investigation into the spending. At another point, Deputy Commissioner of the Public Building Service David Foley jokes about a party in a hotel suite.
In the lyrics, the employee sings: "Donate my vacation, love to the nation; I'll never be under OIG investigation." He was given an award at the conference, and named "commissioner for a day."
In the award speech, Foley joked that “there’s just a couple of small matters." "The hotel would like to talk to you about paying for the party that was held in the commissioner's suite last night," he said, to uproarious laughter from the crowd.
Republicans on the House transportation committee wrote a letter last week to the GSA inspector general asking for information about an incentive program they claim handed out "$200,000 worth of taxpayer funded iPods, electronics and gift cards for questionable reasons at best."
Separately, the nonprofit advocacy group Cause of Action wrote to other federal departments asking them to disclose spending on "commemorative" items -- after the GSA was accused of spending more than $6,000 on commemorative coins at the conference.
All this is the kind of stuff which has resulted in the United States of America sliding into more than $15 trillion in debt during the Bush and Obama presidential administrations. This is just one of thousands of examples of how the government parasites are sucking the blood out of the American people.
Republican parasites – Democrat parasites – they’re all the same. They are killing us slowly and getting away with it.
Every one of those 300 government parasites should have their share of the cost of that conference deducted from their future paychecks. That’s how these people should be punished. The same goes for every government employee in every agency who has partied, or is thinking about partying on the taxpayer’s dime.
That might properly make them think twice in the future about parasite party time at GSA.