GSA scandal

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Lucrum, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Lucrum


    GSA scandal makes strong case for shrinking government
    By Michael Goodwin
    Published April 04, 2012

    ‘Defining deviancy down” was how the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan described society’s quiet acceptance of decline. His specific point was that New Yorkers had become docile about stratospheric levels of crime, but he could have said the same thing about Americans’ tolerance for government waste.

    On that point, I humbly offer a wake-up call. If you’re still numb about bureaucrats wasting your tax dollars, read the inspector general’s report on the Las Vegas splurge by federal workers. If you don’t get steamed, you’re either dead or brain dead.

    You probably heard about the report because the head of the agency involved, the General Services Administration, fired her top deputies, then quit Monday just before it became public. Case closed? Perhaps, but a scandal is a terrible thing to waste. This one is a mini-case study in the argument for shrinking government.

    The hot button isn’t so much the total tab — $823,000, which is a pittance in an era of trillion-dollar deficits and $500 million grants to politically connected solar companies.

    The outrage lies in the casualness with which 300 employees took their fellow citizens to the cleaners. Bosses knew and approved, with one saying the conference should be “over the top.” It certainly was. They spent months planning, with hardly a peep of dissent. If nothing else, the incident reveals the banality of chiseling.

    The workers traveled, ate, slept and had cocktail receptions where they paid $4 for each shrimp. They tipped 22 percent and gave themselves awards and mementos. Some took family members. It was essentially a week’s vacation that they called "work" at a Las Vegas resort.

    They cut corners on the same purchasing rules they demand of other federal agencies. They hid costs and made secret deals with the hotel. They used stimulus money to celebrate their use of stimulus money. They were entertained by clowns — and behaved like clowns...

    And Mr Hope and Change himself knew about all this and said nothing, did nothing until it was reported by the media
  2. pspr


    They just wanted a vacation like Me-Chelle gets. I'm surprised they didn't go to Hawaii and have Secret Service security.

    Even Obama's daughter got to go on a private spring break vacation to Mexico with 27 Secret Service agents. Then, when she got home, the Obama girls went to Mt. Rushmore and Las Vegas.

    I wonder where they will be off to next. :confused:
  3. Just following the example set for them by the clown-in-chief.

  4. Max E.

    Max E.

    Even though this is one of the more egregious examples of government waste, you cant tell me that this kind of shit isnt happening all over the place. The bottom line is we give control of multi billion dollar budgets to elected officials who couldnt even balance their check book, and then we inevitably end up with train wrecks like this, and we wonder why there is hundreds of billions of dollars of "slippage."

    I say we should start paying competent business people to head up all the different departments of government, and pay them well, so that we know that this kind of shit is not going to happen. Get some airline or Hotel CEO's heading up these branches and see how easy it is to save money. Those guys are notoriously frugal. Pay them performance bonuses based on the amount they are able to cut from the budget while keeping services intact.

    Everyone is going to piss and moan when the leader of a department of government gets paid 10 million a year, but if he can save a couple hundred million in the process then it is more than worth it.

    We need to hire competent "hatchet" men, and tell them, these are the services we need to produce, and that is it, no extras, no vacations, nothing, whatever you save, you will end up with a bonus at the end of the year, provided we can get the same services at the new price.

    These politicians who claim we are going to throw grandma off a cliff by cutting 10% from medicare are full of shit, we could cut 10% from every single government program, and the only thing we would be doing is reigning in the bureaucrats who are living high on the tax payers dollar.

    The biggest problem with government is that some piss ant community organiser ends up in charge of a multi billion dollar budget, and they have no concept of saving money, or how to properly run a company, or budget for that amount, and then we are stunned when it all goes to shit, and billions of dollars get wasted.....

    Probably the only thing i like about Romney is that he is a competent business man who has done all this shit before who would probably have the ability to go through some of these departments and weed out waste, given his history.
  5. the rest of the story:

    Their conference also came despite President Obama’s ridiculing of financial institutions for wasting federal bailout money. “You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime,” he said in February 2009.

    Oh, irony. That was the same month the GSA began soliciting bids for its trip to Vegas on the taxpayers’ dime. Guess they didn’t get the president’s memo, or maybe they didn’t take him seriously.

    Why should they? Obama traveled to Vegas to campaign for Harry Reid on Oct. 22, 2010. The GSA blowout started just three days later.

    The conference was hard work, by government standards. According to the report, five employees conducted a “scouting trip” to nine hotels as far back as March 2009 — 19 months before the gathering.

    Within days, 15 workers returned to scout out two of the hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton and the M Resort.

    The M Resort was selected, and seven more employees went back for a “planning meeting.” A second “planning meeting” there drew 11 employees. A third drew 16.

    Inexplicably, nine employees attended a “planning meeting” at a Denver hotel. Then it was back to Vegas in June, where 21 employees had, yep, a “planning meeting.”

    In August, 31 employees went to the M Resort for a “dry run” of the conference. The planning alone cost you, dear taxpayer, $136,000. Are you steamed yet?

    The 23-page report, available online, is written in the dry, matter-of-fact language of the bureaucracy. And why not? There’s nothing unusual here. This is government in all its ordinariness.

    Read more:
  6. pspr


    Federal worker makes rap video about his cushy job and benefits.

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