Washington’s reckless spending is driving America into debt — and yet federal bureaucrats continue their wasteful and frivolous ways.
The latest example comes courtesy of today’s Washington Post, which features a story that should infuriate any taxpayer.
As the federal government’s fiscal year draws to a close Monday, agencies are spending wildly on big-ticket items like artwork, office supplies and furniture.
Here are just a few examples of what was happening in Washington last week:
On Monday, VA paid $27,000 for an order of photographs showing sunsets, mountain peaks and country roads. They would go into a new center serving homeless veterans in Los Angeles; a spokeswoman described the art as “motivational and calming, professionally designed to enhance clinical operations.”
On Tuesday, the USDA bought $127,000 worth of toner cartridges (“end of year,” the order explained). VA spent another $220,000 on artwork for its hospitals.
On Wednesday, the Coast Guard paid $178,000 for cubicle furniture, replacing high-walled cubes with low-walled ones to improve the air flow in a large office area.
“Other higher-priority projects were not able to be executed, so they moved [money] to this lower-priority project” before the year’s end, said Coast Guard spokesman Carlos Diaz. “The money was going to be spent anyway.”
On Thursday, VA was buying art again. It spent $216,000 on artwork for a facility in Florida. In all, preliminary data showed that the agency made at least 18 percent of all its art purchases for the year in this one week. One-sixth of the buying in one-52nd of the year.
Accompanying the Washington Post story is an infographic (click below to enlarge) that paints the picture of a government hell-bent on spending money before it’s gone: 19.1 percent of all spending came in the final five weeks of the fiscal year and 15.2 percent of contracts were awarded during that time.
Reckless spending is threatening the American dream for our children and grandchildren. It’s time Washington begins the serious task of cutting spending.
All across America, families are balancing their budgets and paying off debt. If Americans can do it, why can’t our federal government?