Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Stuck Taxpayers For $12,000 Charter Flight
Because they think they are special people, they do not want to live by the common-man’s rule.
I do understand that there are government officials that absolutely need to get from point A to point B in a hurry and many times without notice and private jets are the way to go. BUT; then we have the prim-donnas that think it is beneath them to stand in line at an airport like all the other common people.
This kind of mismanagement of funds is not exclusive to travel expensive. It is rampant through out the government.
Government waste is prevalent in too many areas to count; it accounts for billions of dollars of taxpayers money that could have been put to better use.
This is a great article published in 2009. Much of it is too hard to believe.
- The federal government made at least $72 billion in improper payments in 2008.
- Washington spends $92 billion on corporate welfare (excluding TARP) versus $71 billion on homeland security.
- Washington spends $25 billion annually maintaining unused or vacant federal properties.
- Government auditors spent the past five years examining all federal programs and found that 22 percent of them — costing taxpayers a total of $123 billion annually — fail to show any positive impact on the populations they serve.
- The Congressional Budget Office published a “Budget Options” series identifying more than $100 billion in potential spending cuts.
- Examples from multiple Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports of wasteful duplication include 342 economic development programs; 130 programs serving the disabled; 130 programs serving at-risk youth; 90 early childhood development programs; 75 programs funding international education, cultural, and training exchange activities; and 72 safe water programs.
- Washington will spend $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.
- A GAO audit classified nearly half of all purchases on government credit cards as improper, fraudulent, or embezzled. Examples of taxpayer-funded purchases include gambling, mortgage payments, liquor, lingerie, iPods, Xboxes, jewelry, Internet dating services, and Hawaiian vacations. In one extraordinary example, the Postal Service spent $13,500 on one dinner at a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, including “over 200 appetizers and over $3,000 of alcohol, including more than 40 bottles of wine costing more than $50 each and brand-name liquor such as Courvoisier, Belvedere and Johnny Walker Gold.” The 81 guests consumed an average of $167 worth of food and drink apiece.
- Federal agencies are delinquent on nearly 20 percent of employee travel charge cards, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission spent $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
- The Pentagon recently spent $998,798 shipping two 19-cent washers from South Carolina to Texas and $293,451 sending an 89-cent washer from South Carolina to Florida.
- Over half of all farm subsidies go to commercial farms, which report average household incomes of $200,000.
- Health care fraud is estimated to cost taxpayers more than $60 billion annually.
- A GAO audit found that 95 Pentagon weapons systems suffered from a combined $295 billion in cost overruns.
- The refusal of many federal employees to fly coach costs taxpayers $146 million annually in flight upgrades.
- Washington will spend $126 million in 2009 to enhance the Kennedy family legacy in Massachusetts. Additionally, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) diverted $20 million from the 2010 defense budget to subsidize a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute.
- Federal investigators have launched more than 20 criminal fraud investigations related to the TARP financial bailout.
- Despite trillion-dollar deficits, last year’s 10,160 earmarks included $200,000 for a tattoo removal program in Mission Hills, California; $190,000 for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming; and $75,000 for the Totally Teen Zone in Albany, Georgia.
- The federal government owns more than 50,000 vacant homes.
- The Federal Communications Commission spent $350,000 to sponsor NASCAR driver David Gilliland.
- Members of Congress have spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars supplying their offices with popcorn machines, plasma televisions, DVD equipment, ionic air fresheners, camcorders, and signature machines — plus $24,730 leasing a Lexus, $1,434 on a digital camera, and $84,000 on personalized calendars.
- More than $13 billion in Iraq aid has been classified as wasted or stolen. Another $7.8 billion cannot be accounted for.
- Fraud related to Hurricane Katrina spending is estimated to top $2 billion. In addition, debit cards provided to hurricane victims were used to pay for Caribbean vacations, NFL tickets, Dom Perignon champagne, “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and at least one sex change operation.
- Auditors discovered that 900,000 of the 2.5 million recipients of emergency Katrina assistance provided false names, addresses, or Social Security numbers or submitted multiple applications.
- Congress recently gave Alaska Airlines $500,000 to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing 737.
- The Transportation Department will subsidize up to $2,000 per flight for direct flights between Washington, D.C., and the small hometown of Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY) — but only on Monday mornings and Friday evenings, when lawmakers, staff, and lobbyists usually fly. Rogers is a member of the Appropriations Committee, which writes the Transportation Department’s budget.
- Washington has spent $3 billion re-sanding beaches — even as this new sand washes back into the ocean.
- A Department of Agriculture report concedes that much of the $2.5 billion in “stimulus” funding for broadband Internet will be wasted.
- The Defense Department wasted $100 million on unused flight tickets and never bothered to collect refunds even though the tickets were refundable.
- Washington spends $60,000 per hour shooting Air Force One photo-ops in front of national landmarks.
- Over one recent 18-month period, Air Force and Navy personnel used government-funded credit cards to charge at least $102,400 on admission to entertainment events, $48,250 on gambling, $69,300 on cruises, and $73,950 on exotic dance clubs and prostitutes.
- Members of Congress are set to pay themselves $90 million to increase their franked mailings for the 2010 election year.
- Congress has ignored efficiency recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services that would save $9 billion annually.
- Taxpayers are funding paintings of high-ranking government officials at a cost of up to $50,000 apiece.
- The state of Washington sent $1 food stamp checks to 250,000 households in order to raise state caseload figures and trigger $43 million in additional federal funds.
- Suburban families are receiving large farm subsidies for the grass in their backyards — subsidies that many of these families never requested and do not want. 
- Congress appropriated $20 million for “commemoration of success” celebrations related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Homeland Security employee purchases include 63-inch plasma TVs, iPods, and $230 for a beer brewing kit.
- Two drafting errors in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act resulted in a $2 billion taxpayer cost.
- North Ridgeville, Ohio, received $800,000 in “stimulus” funds for a project that its mayor described as “a long way from the top priority.”
- The National Institutes of Health spends $1.3 million per month to rent a lab that it cannot use.
- Congress recently spent $2.4 billion on 10 new jets that the Pentagon insists it does not need and will not use.
- Lawmakers diverted $13 million from Hurricane Katrina relief spending to build a museum celebrating the Army Corps of Engineers — the agency partially responsible for the failed levees that flooded New Orleans.
- Medicare officials recently mailed $50 million in erroneous refunds to 230,000 Medicare recipients.
- Audits showed $34 billion worth of Department of Homeland Security contracts contained significant waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Washington recently spent $1.8 million to help build a private golf course in Atlanta, Georgia.
- The Advanced Technology Program spends $150 million annually subsidizing private businesses; 40 percent of this funding goes to Fortune 500 companies.
- Congressional investigators were able to receive $55,000 in federal student loan funding for a fictional college they created to test the Department of Education.
- The Conservation Reserve program pays farmers $2 billion annually not to farm their land.
- The Commerce Department has lost 1,137 computers since 2001, many containing Americans’ personal data.
How can anyone lose 1,137 computers?
Let be generous and say that Mr. Riedl’s information is 20% inaccurate; which I doubt very much; that still leaves billions that were misused. Who the hell is watching the hen-house?? The answer to that is; the fox that is loose in the hen-house is supposed to be the keeper of the keys. Money mismanagement throughout the government has been and always will be out of control. If the fox is one of the primary culprits; who is watching the fox??
Will the system ever change completely? NEVER. There may be a few alterations along the way to appease Joe and Jane citizen who have to play by the rule book, but in the long run, it will always be business as usual.
This is slightly off the topic. I am and always will be of the opinion that ALL government employees should be compelled to live within the same guidelines as the average citizen. They should have the same healthcare – retirement – pension fund as we do. Are they any better than the average citizen? If you asked them, I would hate to hear their answer.
I would love to see just how long Obamacare would have lasted getting off the ground, if the politicians had to live by it. It would have never seen the light of day.
If they were on an even playing field as Joe Blow citizen and his family; I can guarantee, when the time came to making critical decisions on the social level, Joe and his family would be getting a better shake.
What compels politicians to make decisions in a timely manner, if the decisions does not impact them in some way? Absolutely NOTHING.
I have mentioned this many times and will continue to do so. It alone tells the true tale of a politician and their regard for the public. A few years back when the government was going to shut down because these pamper fools could not pass a budget; they wrote up a bill and came to a conscience in a matter of a few days. IF THE GOVERNMENT INDEED WERE TO SHUT DOWN, THEIR MADE SURE THAT THEIR PAY CHECK WOULD NOT STOP. YES, THAT THEIR PAY CHECKS WOULD NOT STOP. If that is not a clean and concise indicator of what kind of regard the politicians think of the citizens of this country, not else is.
Federal Radio news
Federal employees furloughed during the shutdown in 2013 did receive back pay for the 16 days the government remained closed. Congress included a provision in its October 2013 spending bill that reopened the government and authorized that furloughed employees receive “at their regular standard rate of compensation for the period of such lapse in appropriations, as soon as practicable.”
My question is why should they get paid if they didn’t work. In the private industry, if someone does not work because of a strike, their own incompetence or a walkout, they do not get paid. I thought that the caste system was exclusive to places like India. I guess I was wrong.
AS THE WORLD WOBBLES