Three quick stories about politicians being reckless with your money:
1) Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (and four others) were in Iraq this weekend, eating with members of the military and doing a town hall meeting. Why? What possible reason is there for any governor to travel to a war zone at taxpayer expense? They may be rah-rah supporters of the troops, as many of us are, but they can do that at home. These politicians traveled to Iraq solely to do the old grip-and-grin with soldiers in uniform and having their press person alert the world in the hopes of free media attention.
2) Speaking of trying to bask in the spotlight, several states are already spending stimulus money on repairing our broken infrastructure, and that’s good. What’s not so good is the decision to put up road signs announcing that the repair work was being done with stimulus money. You see, making and putting up signs costs money, funds that could be spent on real work, not touting the work you’re already doing. More help, less public relations, please!
3) At the Treasury Department, someone thought the people who work at the Bureau of Public Debt needed a morale booster. So they contracted with a cartoonist to conduct a couple of three-hour-long seminars on the benefits of humor in the workplace, and how humor can reduce stress. If you want to reduce stress at the Bureau of Public Debt, how about reducing the debt by not wasting money on bad ideas like this one? When asked, most of those employees would likely tell you that it would be less stressful if the boss would stop sending them to ridiculous seminars like this. The cost of the cartoonist was minimal compared to the other wasteful spending in our government, but the point is that it’s still waste. Thanks to Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) for killing the plan once he heard about it.