Government spendthrifts keep shelling out money for things we don’t want, don’t need, and can’t use.
In last week’s article, I focused on government waste and overspending. I’m going to continue that theme for a while because wasteful spending has gotten so far out of control and oversight is nearly nonexistent. The Government spendthrifts keep shelling out money for things we don’t want, don’t need, and can’t use. Far too often, these expenditures raise serious questions not only about the competence of the various agencies but also their intent and motives.
The EPA, for example, has created an enormous propaganda machine and appears to be preparing for war using state-of-the-art military weaponry.
Openthebooks.com, a non-partisan government watchdog project, says the Environmental Protection Agency has spent millions equipping a 200-man army with guns, ammunition, body armor, camouflage, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night vision surveillance equipment.
Over the last 8 years, the EPA has also paid $1.1 billion for 1,020 employees they call General Attorneys. They also have 198 in-house public affairs officers on the payroll who are assisted by outside big-money public relations consultants.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a report exposing recklessly inappropriate spending at 22 other government agencies for the last year, and the numbers are staggering. They report that an astounding $124.7 billion of taxpayer money was lost or misspent by the Government. These were payments that should not have been made at all or payments that were made incorrectly. Obviously this $124 billion does not include the additional funds wasted by the Federal Government on duplicative programs, unconstitutional programs, obsolete programs, or programs that just don’t work.
One of the many programs that does not work is Obamacare. $2.4 billion of start-up and solvency loans was used to set up costly co-ops in various states. Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to nine in barely two years. That is $2.4 billion of hard-earned taxpayer money used for start-up capital that is going down the drain, co-op by co-0p. Among the co-ops to announce closings were those in Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Vermont, New York, and Colorado.
Over $900 million of the initial $2.4 billion has already been lost, but the hemorrhaging has just begun. Federal officials have a secret list of 11 more Obamacare health insurance co-ops they fear are on the verge of failure, but they refuse to disclose them to the public or to Congress, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has learned. It would seem that providing public information on a public program to the general public is just too transparent for the self-proclaimed “most transparent administration in history.”
David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance said, “There is no excuse why taxpayers should not know the names of the people and groups who misspent and wasted tax dollars on publicly financed health insurance co-ops.” But the Obama administration tends to only release information that furthers their desired narrative. Any information that puts them in a negative light is hidden from the public and can only be extracted after great cost and persistence, if at all.
Last week, I provided 20 of 50 items listed as waste and mismanagement by Heritage. Here are six more items on mismanagement that are on the Heritage list.
- The Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri received up to $100,000 from the U.S. Forest Service to add a 23rd bike trail to the park.
- The Denver Museum of Miniature Dolls and Toys was awarded $40,810 from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services to create a digital inventory of its items.
- Grandiose oil portraits of former government agency heads continue to cost taxpayers roughly $20,000 for each new painting.
- U.S. Marshals Service wasted $2 million on “swag” gifts, like golf balls, mine-footballs, police-car-shaped stress toys, golf towels, and poker chips in order to build cooperation and camaraderie within the office.
- According to the Government Accountability Office, duplication of federal programs and services costs taxpayers $45 billion annually.
- Paralegals at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board were paid $5.1 million over four years as they watched Netflix, shopped online, and used social media while on the clock. The National Endowment for the Humanities provided $47,000 for undergraduate classes that teach students about laughing and the nature of humor. The classes will focus on how humor differs between cultures and how it can be used to deal with tragedies.
Allen Tharp is President of the San Antonio Tea Party.
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