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Taxpayer Money Spent on iPods for Government Workers

Ipods to Gov. Workers
Photo courtesy of Dan_H/Flickr

Imagine if the agency responsible for “developing government-wide cost-minimizing policies” spent your money to hand out commemorative coins stamped with the image of the President’s recovery act and iPods to its employees? Well, imagine no more . . . this joke has been playing out for at least a week now and the laugh is at the American taxpayer’s expense. The current hubbub surrounds $822,000 spent to fly General Services Administration (GSA) workers to Las Vegas for a party that included a mind reader and a $75,000 team building exercise where participants assembled bicycles. The General Services Administration (GSA) is under fire and there is little doubt that the flames will leap all of the way to the White House.

Last Monday, Martha Johnson (GSA Administrator) fired her two deputies and resigned just before an investigation into the GSA’s lavish spending habits was about to take place. On the April 5th, the House Oversight committee released the first of many videos (see below) bringing the GSA’s spending into the public eye.

Although the public is just hearing about this now, the President has known about this insanity since at least March.  Representative Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, says that the Administration has known for over 11 months. Why the delay in a public confrontation over the matter? Well, part of the reason may be that Martha Johnson is an Obama appointee. The larger reason, it seems to me, is that this scandal helps to undercut the public’s faith in government and government spending. If people don’t believe in the ability of the Government to spend responsibly (and why should they?) the Obama Administration will have a hard time convincing the public to re-elect the party of big government this November.

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