Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

October 7, 2012

Government waste of our money a bigger problem

The General Services Administration’s inspector general on April 2 revealed that a 2010 Las Vegas junket, featuring a mind reader and a clown cost taxpayers more than $823,000.

Why did these guys need to hire a clown? Don’t we have enough of them on our payroll already?

“It’s ironic that the demands in the presidential campaign for Mitt Romney’s tax returns are unrelenting, but when it comes time to release the schedules, travel and entertainment expenses for senior appointees there’s a denial of access,” said Paul Light, a New York University professor who studies the federal bureaucracy.

 Nineteen of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the law requiring the disclosure of public information. In all, just eight of the 57 federal agencies failed to meet Bloomberg News Services’s request for documents within the 20-day window required by the Act. No fines!

Just continuous stonewalling!

“When it comes to implementation of Obama’s wonderful transparency policy goals, especially FOIA policy in particular, there has been far more ‘talk the talk’ rather than ‘walk the walk,’” said Daniel Metcalfe, director of the Department of Justice.

During the first year of the administration, cabinet agencies employed exemptions 466,402 times, a 50 percent jump from the last year of the presidency of George W. Bush. Transparency ?

 Are you worried about what Mitt Romney does with his own money? Taxpayers paid $27.8 million for more than 200 overnight gatherings attended by at least 50 GSA employees over the five-year period, according to the records.

Maybe we should worry about how our money is spent. Well that’s $2 million per minute. No need to hire clowns, we have plenty of them.  

The records of Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, (a tax cheat who does not pay his “fair share”) and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, (a tax cheat who doesn’t pay her fair share) former Secretary of Commerce and Acting Secretary Gary Locke and Rebecca Blank, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Jacob Lew, the former director of the Office and Management and Budget, who is now White House Chief of Staff, failed to release documents to Bloomberg News within the 20-day deadline.

Transparency ?

Stephen Hess, a presidential historian at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, called the survey results of Obama’s transparency record “grim” assessment.

“The sad part is that Obama people led us to believe it would be different,” he said.

Well it is. They are Democrats.

The travel and entertainment expenses generated by other Obama officials, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, remain undisclosed and out of Compliance with the Freedom of Information act.

Where’s the “Justice “ department lawsuit?

 Maybe we should be more worried about what this administration is doing with our money than Mr Romney is doing with his own. Meanwhile the General Services Administration continues to “send in the clowns” with lavish awards banquets!

Roberta Merrill

Clearville, Pa.

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