Adventures in Government Waste
American government at all levels has such an incredible way of wasting taxpayer’s money on programs and items that the mind boggles. Today, we’re going to look at government waste that will make you want to scream.
First, let’s look at the Senate barber shop. Now you might wonder why the Senate has a taxpayer-subsidized barber shop? Well, so did we but it does. This unnecessary perk is costing the American taxpayers about $350,000 a year and it has for 15 years. In 2012, the barber shop needed its own bailout of $300,000 to continue clipping and shaving our well-paid senators.
Senate barbers are government employees and as such have salaries of over $80,000 per year while the average salary of a Washington barber is $28,000. They are also recipients of generous pensions and other benefits.
Senate sergeant at arms Terry Gainer is pushing to try a new model: privatization. The sequestration’s required spending cuts provide convenient cover. Gainer is offering early retirement to all eligible employees, hoping to replace them with independent contractors. Four employees have already accepted the offer, and they plan to retire in the next 60 days.
Think of the battle against government waste as the proverbial Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. Just when one hole is plugged another one springs open. The latest outrage is a National Science Foundation is spending $384,949 on a Yale University study that examined, among other things, the particulars of male duck penises.
In the new era of sequestration (or at any time for that matter) the fact that we are spending almost $400,000 on the length of duck’s private parts during mating is outrageous. It’s expenditures like this that are destroying the full faith and credit of the United States. Attempting to purge all of this type of wasteful spending is any almost fruitless job.
Finally, we have another outrageous expense in the city of Arlington, Virginia. Here’s a description of the new bus stop that Arlington city government has erected.
A wall made of etched glass opens the rear vista to newly planted landscaping. Embedded in the floor are heating elements intended to ward off the cold weather and keep winter-weary feet cozy. …And the price tag: $1 million. “Is this made of gold?” asked commuter Yohannes Kaleab, examining the concrete-and-stainless-steel bench that is part of the new, seven-figure bus shelter. “What?” asked Robin Stewart as he learned of the cost of the structure while waiting for a bus there last week. “That’s ridiculous. From a citizen, from a voter, whoever put that budget through needs to get their butt canned. It’s an outrage.” The “super stop,” which opened March 11, is the first of 24 new bus stops that will also accommodate Arlington’s long-planned streetcars. …It will shelter 15 people at a time.
Dennis Leach, Arlington’s transportation director, was upbeat when he pointed out that the remaining 23 planned bus stops would only cost $904,000 each! The city plans on spending a total of $21.8 million in taxpayer funds for these bus stop Taj Mahals. And that’s before the inevitable cost overruns.