The recent exposé of clowns and mind-readers as critical support elements of government training at a U.S. General Services (GSA) conference in Las Vegas has served as a politically expedient way for Barack Obama to pretend to be tough on the issue of wasteful spending.
There can be no doubt that cracking down on a federal agency that was so misguided that it spent almost a million taxpayer dollars on a training conference (where clowns were considered essential personnel) is a good thing--especially when GSA is the very agency that determines the travel, meals and per diems for the rest of the federal government.
Obama fired three top political appointees at the agency, and put four other agency employees on administrative leave--which on the surface fosters the illusion that Obama is getting tough on wasteful spending. But, why, given all the other areas of wasteful spending over the past three years of the Obama Administration, has GSA been the only agency to feel Obama's wrath?
Obama is a fraud on the issue of wasteful spending, unless exposing that spending is politically expedient.
Consider the Department of Energy. DoE flushed away $528 Million taxpayer dollars in a failed effort to shore up Solyndra and showcase Obama's visit in May 2010 designed to focus attention on "alternative energy". As if that were not enough, DoE wasted another $2 billion dollars of taxpayer money on other failed solar enterprises. But get this: no one got fired. Billions of dollars wasted, and no one in the Obama Administration was fired. Worse yet, Obama seems genuinely proud of picking loser investments that wasted taxpayer money.
The on-going investigation of the Fast and Furious debacle, in which Brian Terry, U.S. Border Patrol Agent was killed when the Obama Administration made the bizarre decision to spend another million or so of taxpayer money to buy 2,000 guns which were allowed to “walk” across the border and into the welcoming hands of Mexican drug cartels, is another example of waste. At current estimates, the cost is incalculable -- approximately a million dollars lost, an American citizen killed, damage to our close relationship with Mexico, and yet, despite all of this incredible waste, Obama has fired no one.
Americans also pay for Obama’s excessive personal expenditures. Millions of dollars are wasted on Barack and Michelle Obama's "date nights". Flying to New York ( because Washington DC doesn't have any decent restaurants?), the expenses of Secret Service, Air Force One and NYC overtime security, costs American taxpayers approximately $ 250,000 dollars. All for one night!
Despite $16Trillion of public debt, Barack Obama does not seem interested in cutting wasteful spending. If the 2013 budget of $3.8 trillion dollars is any indication, Obama excels in wasteful spending, figuring the more the better, as he piles additional spending atop the unsustainable mountain of red ink he has already assembled.
Firing the GSA political appointees, who made some boneheaded decisions that might embarrass Obama in his dash for reelection, seems unlikely to have been motivated solely by a concern over wasteful spending since Obama doesn't seem convinced that any cuts are a worthy use of his time.
Pity too. Never before in our nation's history has our government been so bloated, with multiple agencies with multiple programs that are begging to be streamlined. Other parts of our government have veered too far from their original mission (NASA for example can no longer put a man in space but can put effort and resources into Muslim outreach).
Obama's recent $3.8 Trillion budget, which called for another trillion in annual deficit, shows just how profligate spending has become under the Obama Administration. Obama has spent more irresponsibly than any president in our nation’s history, yet he is attempting to advance a false image of fiscal accountability, by criticizing Paul Ryan's honest budget and by firing a few GSA political appointees.
Cutting wasteful spending is hard work. It is far easier, after the fact, to sack the boneheads that spent taxpayer money to hire a clown and a fortune teller. If Americans want to see some expert prestidigitation, nothing beats Obama’s ability to create false illusions or conjure up misdirection regarding wasteful spending.
He is the master.