Bankrupting America is out with a parody of the General Services Administration’s planning process for its outrageous Western Regions Conference in Las Vegas. How does a government agency with the stated purpose of streamlining the administrative work of the federal government conceive of a conference that cost taxpayers the equivalent of the entire annual income of sixteen U.S. households? Watch and learn:
Occasionally, big spenders desperate to skirt deficit reduction talk of any kind will say that we could eliminate all government waste and still not come close to reducing the deficit — as though that is an excuse to continue wasting taxpayer dollars. While it’s impossible to overestimate the importance of entitlement reform to deficit and debt reduction, this, at least, can be said of entitlement programs: Taxpayers know and expect their dollars to go to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We might not appreciate that nearly half the country pays nothing to maintain the social safety net and we might fret that plans to expand (or not to reform) entitlement programs effectively function as a way for politicians to buy votes — but we’re not blindsided by the use of our taxpayer dollars for those programs. We don’t expect our dollars to go to clowns, mind-readers and commemorative coins — and government officials should be held accountable when they do. Fortunately, in this instance, the scandal led to the resignation of GSA Administrator Martha Johnson, the firing of two of her top aides and the suspension of four GSA managers who organized the conference. Good riddance. From this point forward, whoever was even remotely a part of the planning of the Western Regions Conference better not be allowed to authorize the spending of taxpayer dollars on anything.