The federal spending rant...

Bodhisattva

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The federal spending thread

I've shared my first hand (and some second hand) experience for years on how poorly the government spends tax payer money. IIRC, my calculations I reached $600,000,000,000 in annual waste before I got tired of adding it up. Either you believe the waste is obscene or you're ok with it and don't mind giving the government more (of someone else's money). I figured I'd start this thread to discuss various waste large and small. I could post on this daily, but I'll probably confine it to the more interesting (infuriating) ways the government spends your money.

I came across a contract today that was a $14k award for fidget spinners.
 
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rjtide

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Re: The federal spending thread

I've shared my first hand (and some second hand) experience for years on how poorly the government spends tax payer money. IIRC, my calculations I reached $600,000,000,000 in annual waste before I got tired of adding it up. Either you believe the waste is obscene or you're ok with it and don't mind giving the government more (of someone else's money). I figured I'd start this thread to discuss various waste large and small. I could post on this daily, but I'll probably confine it to the more interesting (infuriating) ways the government spends your money.

I came across a contract today that was a $14k award for fidget spinners.
i'd be interested in knowing if anyone in the past has tried to get rid of the notion of 'baseline budgeting' as a means to help with reigning in ever increasing federal agencies budgets from year to year.
 

uafanataum

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Re: The federal spending thread

I deployed to Afghanistan 6 years ago. Without getting into specifics the amount of money we dumped into Afghani private security/construction/logistical contractors over there would blow your mind. I literally was amazed. However, I would err on the side of caution when using these examples to starve the beast. Rather than cutting too much funding, something should be done to make sure the funding is used properly.
 

BamaFlum

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Dec 11, 2002
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Re: The federal spending thread

I deployed to Afghanistan 6 years ago. Without getting into specifics the amount of money we dumped into Afghani private security/construction/logistical contractors over there would blow your mind. I literally was amazed. However, I would err on the side of caution when using these examples to starve the beast. Rather than cutting too much funding, something should be done to make sure the funding is used properly.
Used properly got me thinking. If 75% of our tax dollars were used to support the populace, how much would we truly see in improvements? I believe it would stagger the mind.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bamabuzzard

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Aug 15, 2004
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Re: The federal spending thread

I've shared my first hand (and some second hand) experience for years on how poorly the government spends tax payer money. IIRC, my calculations I reached $600,000,000,000 in annual waste before I got tired of adding it up. Either you believe the waste is obscene or you're ok with it and don't mind giving the government more (of someone else's money). I figured I'd start this thread to discuss various waste large and small. I could post on this daily, but I'll probably confine it to the more interesting (infuriating) ways the government spends your money.

I came across a contract today that was a $14k award for fidget spinners.
Yeah, there's over $25,000 worth of iPads and $10,000 worth of toner sitting in their unopened boxes (going on year 2) right down the hall from my office. Did I mention the lease agreement we have with the copier company has toner accounted for in the lease? But here we are.


I don't think it's even debatable that our government has a major problem with wasteful spending. It makes absolutely ZERO fiscal sense to focus more on and put as a higher priority bringing in more money rather than addressing the spending. One is treating a symptom, the other is actually treating the problem. By focusing on the symptom, we as a society are basically admitting that we are completely okay with politicians being fiscally irresponsible with our money and are completely okay with when they run out of money to fund their fiscal irresponsibility. To go back to "Daddy" and forcibly get more. I'm not saying the tax brackets, loopsholes etc. don't need to be addressed with regard to the uber rich. But I think they (and their money) are being looked at as the only acceptable solution. Which is lazy, irresponsible and scary at the same time. As Brad (crimsonaudio) has stated in another thread, government can be and has been vicious in their dealings when they decide to go get what they want.
 
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day-day

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Jan 2, 2005
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Re: The federal spending thread

I've shared my first hand (and some second hand) experience for years on how poorly the government spends tax payer money. IIRC, my calculations I reached $600,000,000,000 in annual waste before I got tired of adding it up. Either you believe the waste is obscene or you're ok with it and don't mind giving the government more (of someone else's money). I figured I'd start this thread to discuss various waste large and small. I could post on this daily, but I'll probably confine it to the more interesting (infuriating) ways the government spends your money.

I came across a contract today that was a $14k award for fidget spinners.
Hopefully one of these will be distributed to you and you will relax about government waste.:)

Thanks for starting this thread. I think it will be interesting but also frustrating.
 

Bazza

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Re: The federal spending thread

I guess NBC discontinued this series but I always enjoyed it knwing someone was trying to bring attention to wasted tax dollars.

Brokaw started it - then Williams revived it....then it was gone.


 

Bodhisattva

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Re: The federal spending thread

I deployed to Afghanistan 6 years ago. Without getting into specifics the amount of money we dumped into Afghani private security/construction/logistical contractors over there would blow your mind. I literally was amazed. However, I would err on the side of caution when using these examples to starve the beast. Rather than cutting too much funding, something should be done to make sure the funding is used properly.
I don't recall if I've told this story here before ..... I've worked with several people who were CORs (Contracting Officer Representatives) who did stints abroad. CORs monitor the service contracts to make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing and burning funds at an appropriate rate. I have many stories of government waste, but the most offensive one involved a contract to a company that did laundry services on our bases in Afghanistan. The contract was supposed to be written in such a way that the vendor was to be paid per load of laundry. However, the vendor was charging that amount per article of clothing. The COR brought it to the attention of the Contracting Office stateside. The contract was written so poorly that the vendor's interpretation was justified. The service ended up being 15-20x more expensive than planned. The Contracting Office could have terminated the contract and started over, but (and I've seen this countless times) it's far more convenient (for the bureaucrat, not the taxpayer) to overpay for underperformance than to try to get it right the second time. Because, it's just money.
 

Bodhisattva

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Re: The federal spending thread

I worked with a lady who was in Haiti after the earthquake. I don't recall which agency she was with at the time (USAID, maybe), but their job was basically to flood the country with cash in an attempt to help the local populace. If you had something to sell, they would buy it. Local merchants brought in truckloads of anything (lumber, gravel, food) to the American base in exchange for cash.

It didn't take long for others to notice and they waited just outside the base to mug (and sometimes murder) their fellow Haitians as they exited American protection with the equivalent of many months salary in their pockets.

No one does unintended consequences like the government does unintended consequences.
 

Bodhisattva

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Re: The federal spending thread

Yeah, there's over $25,000 worth of iPads and $10,000 worth of toner sitting in their unopened boxes (going on year 2) right down the hall from my office. Did I mention the lease agreement we have with the copier company has toner accounted for in the lease? But here we are.
Oh, yeah. That kind of stupidity is extremely common. Seen it first hand many times. The government loves to warehouse computers and related equipment.

I don't think it's even debatable that our government has a major problem with wasteful spending. It makes absolutely ZERO fiscal sense to focus more on and put as a higher priority bringing in more money rather than addressing the spending. One is treating a symptom, the other is actually treating the problem. By focusing on the symptom, we as a society are basically admitting that we are completely okay with politicians being fiscally irresponsible with our money and are completely okay with when they run out of money to fund their fiscal irresponsibility. To go back to "Daddy" and forcibly get more. I'm not saying the tax brackets, loopsholes etc. don't need to be addressed with regard to the uber rich. But I think they (and their money) are being looked at as the only acceptable solution. Which is lazy, irresponsible and scary at the same time. As Brad (crimsonaudio) has stated in another thread, government can be and has been vicious in their dealings when they decide to go get what they want.
Well, one would think wouldn't be debatable, but does anyone really talk about cutting spending? Most don't understand the magnitude of the waste and fraud. And for many it's more important to have more and more progressive taxation (and, therefore, waste more and more money) so they can scratch that class jealousy itch.
 

Bamabuzzard

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Re: The federal spending thread

Oh, yeah. That kind of stupidity is extremely common. Seen it first hand many times. The government loves to warehouse computers and related equipment.



Well, one would think wouldn't be debatable, but does anyone really talk about cutting spending? Most don't understand the magnitude of the waste and fraud. And for many it's more important to have more and more progressive taxation (and, therefore, waste more and more money) so they can scratch that class jealousy itch.
Yep, it's a lot easier to simply raise taxes than to fix a culture. Which is exactly what it would take to fix the spending problem that has long been a problem within our government. I'll add to our stories of government waste examples. In the relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, a local small business owner of a crawfish and catering company contracted with the federal government to serve meals out of a concession style trailer in and around the New Orleans area. The contract that someone within our government approved was to pay him $100 PER PLATE for three meals a day, for a year. And brother, he wasn't serving steak and lobster. The meals consisted of sandwiches, chips and a drink for lunch and other very cheap items for breakfast and supper. He left here a very middle class individual and came back a multi-multi millionaire from the taxpayers being charged $100 per plate.

But as we've talked about, there's no genuine interest or care to fix spending from those who are standing at the doorstep of the rich wanting more. Like I said, it doesn't take much effort to sign into law new and higher taxes. But you see, the real reason why no politician wants to fix spending is because in doing so, the perks they are getting would be at risk as well. That's the REAL reason no one within government really wants to talk about cleaning up our spending. Their gravy train would be in danger of being cut. So ole messed up sloppy haired Bernie can scream and yell all he wants about his care for the economically marginalized. But all Bernie's doing (and others like him) is creating a distraction to ensure no one starts looking at the real problem, his taxpayer funded gravy train.
 
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