THIRD WORLD POLITICS
It turns out September, not April, may be federal taxpayers’ worst nightmare.
The end of the government’s fiscal year usually brings an orgy of spending as agencies look at their budgets, see extra cash lying around, and figure they’d better use it all up or risk getting cut in the future.
The “use it or lose it” mentality explains why the Defense Department shelled out $9,241 on a Wexford leather chair, $2.3 million on crab and another $2.3 million on lobster tails in September, according to a study released Thursday by OpenTheBooks.
All told, taxpayers shelled out $97 billion on contracts in September — including a staggering $53 billion in the final week, or more than the entire month of August.
“In the final month of the fiscal year, federal agencies scramble to spend what’s left in their annual budget; agencies worry spending less than their budget allows might prompt Congress to appropriate less money in the next fiscal year,” the report said. “To avoid this, federal agencies choose to embark on an annual shopping spree rather than admit they can operate on less.”
But there were also the lobster tail and crab, $163,636 spent on paint brushes and $7.6 million on workout equipment — including ski equipment - for “adults and junior” - that was shipped to Misawa Air Base in Japan.
The lobster tail purchases in September were a bit more than 10 percent of what the federal government spent the entire year, suggesting only a slightly elevated rate of spending on that delicacy.
But more than a third of the $721,661 agencies spent on pianos came in September.
And while taxpayers bought $1.6 million worth of golf carts in fiscal year 2018, 42 percent of that was spent in the last four weeks. The same with the government’s bill for china tableware, OpenTheBooks’ founder and CEO Adam Andrzejewski said.
“As the national debt surpasses $22 trillion, it’s time to end Washington’s use-it-or-lose-it spending culture,” Mr. Andrzejewski said. “Ending this wasteful phenomenon would go a long way toward generating big savings and winning the public’s trust.”
No aspect of government seemed immune from the urge to binge. Many of the smaller purchases might have raised taxpayers’ eyebrows.
President Trump’s executive office blew through $26.8 million, the report found — up from $24.9 million in 2017.https://archive.fo/SriCehttps://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/mar/7/feds-splurge-on-lobster-pianos-golf-carts-in-race-/