While Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), and President Obama were posturing themselves to prevail in the nation's budget and debt ceiling showdown, federal government program managers were making sure to spend every last cent of their budgets.
The "use it or lose it" rule that disallows budget "surpluses" to be carried over to the federal government's next fiscal year which begins annually on October 1.
According to the Washington Post, "Christmas in September" featured federal managers spending their excess funds on:
- Department of Veterans Affairs employees purchased $562k worth of artwork.
- Employees at the Agriculture Department spent $144k on toner cartridges.
- Coast Guard employees spent $178k on "Cubicle Furniture Rehab."
This wanton end-of-year spending spree is nothing new. For example:
- During the last week of September 2012, the federal government spent $45B on contracts. This amount was more than the amount spent any other week during the entire fiscal year. That's 9% of the year's federal contract spending money being spent in 2% of the year.
- In 2010, the Internal Revenue Service had millions left over in an account to hire new personnel. So, the IRS spent the money on a lavish conference that included a Star Trek parody video starring IRS managers filmed on a Star Trek set that the IRS paid to build.
Rome is burning and Nero (in the persons of Boehner, Reid, and Obama) are fiddling. Where's the outrage?
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Washington Post article, click on the following link:
"As Congress Fights Over the Budget, Agencies Go On Their 'Use It or Lose It' Shopping Sprees."