General embarrasment

Agency's lavish spending spree is insulting in a down economy

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Yes, there are plenty of models in starched white shirts and silk ties available for the next “CEOs Gone Wild” video. They’ll pull up those shirts and reveal their buff bellies and their sexy dollar-sign tattoos.

General Services Administration Administrator Martha Johnson resigned in disgrace this week, after a report detailed an extravagant conference held by federal employees near Las Vegas in October 2010.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
General Services Administration Administrator Martha Johnson resigned in disgrace this week, after a report detailed an extravagant conference held by federal employees near Las Vegas in October 2010.

But you know, we all talk about the “excesses of capitalism” as if such excesses were confined to capitalism –as if overdoing it were endemic to the free enterprise system.

It’s not. Any system devised by man is going to feature
dilation and distension.

Enter the United States government.

It’s never been particularly thrifty. But during one of the roughest economic patches in our nation’s history, with
millions out of work – and after the president had once decried the irresponsibility of jetting off to Vegas – it turns out a federal agency played host to a lavish excursion for 300 of its workers at a Nevada resort spa and
casino in October 2010.

The General Services Administration – which, interestingly enough, is charged with writing the rules for other federal agencies to follow in holding conferences – spent $820,000 on the trip to the M Resort Spa and Casino in Henderson, Nev. The rule-breaking expedition included a $95-a-plate dinner, a $31,000 “networking” reception and $7,000 in sushi.

GSA head Martha Johnson resigned in disgrace this week, but only after firing two deputies and suspending others, following a scathing report by the Inspector General.

This is your government at work, folks. “Bureaucrats Gone Wild,” anyone?

What an insipid scandal, and in such times of want across the land.

Still, the episode may actually be quite revealing of a larger problem: the out-of-control growth in the federal government.

As national columnist Star Parker noted on this page Tuesday, government spending has risen from 20 to 25 percent of the entire American economy in the past four years. And while the unemployment rate has ranged from 8 to 10 percent, unemployment in Washington, D.C., is but 5.7 percent – and its population growth of 2.7 percent was the highest in the nation last year.

Washington’s economy has expanded 14 percent since 2007.

“While we suffer,” Parker writes, “Washington parties.”

And she didn’t even know about the GSA scandal.

The Nevada junket included a $3,200 session with a mind reader. The thing is, that’s the only good part about all this. We’d absolutely love to know what these folks were thinking!

Comments (17) Add comment
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specsta
6046
Points
specsta 04/06/12 - 01:21 am
0
0
edited

edited

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 04/06/12 - 01:46 am
2
2
How many corporate executives

How many corporate executives will engage in lavish spending sprees with shareholder funds as they entertain business customers, prospects and employees during this Masters Week?

Riverman1
78407
Points
Riverman1 04/06/12 - 04:29 am
1
2
The Chronicle has

The Chronicle has get-togethers for employees in the building and serves Kool-aid with whatever the employees bring from home. Entertainment is someone telling them how tough times are.

carcraft
23647
Points
carcraft 04/06/12 - 05:36 am
3
3
Ah yes, somebody else does

Ah yes, somebody else does it- the liberal excuse for Obumler's folley's..The BIG differance is that corperations are responsible to the board of directors and the share holders, and they are not spendng the tax payers buck. Gee how many EBT cards, medicaare appointments etc could have been paid for with that wasted money? Maybe we could only raise taxes on the rich 9/10s of what we wanted if the government didn't waste the money!

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 04/06/12 - 05:52 am
3
2
Firings and resignations

Firings and resignations after a boneheaded move. Isn't that the way the system is supposed to work?

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 04/06/12 - 07:05 am
1
0
What if the TEE Center had

What if the TEE Center had scored the GSA convention?

Riverman1
78407
Points
Riverman1 04/06/12 - 07:10 am
2
1
Duh Judge, if the TEE had

Duh Judge, if the TEE had gotten the GSA convention, we would have kept all their misdeeds quiet. Get a reputation that people can come here and do what they want. Of course when you are handcuffing and taking to jail visitors for selling tickets that doesn't help the reputation much.

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 04/06/12 - 08:35 am
1
0
Those people should be

Those people should be charged with begging not scalping.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 04/06/12 - 08:43 am
2
1
(C)arcraft, Who's excusing

(C)arcraft,

Who's excusing anything?

Misuse of funds by bureaucrats, whether corporate or governmental, is despicable.

Bizkit
28155
Points
Bizkit 04/06/12 - 11:05 am
1
2
Of course they blew a bunch

Of course they blew a bunch of money. What else! It is an investment in the future.The new spend, spend, spend mantra of the Dems and Obama. A part of Obama's plan to spend our way out of debt and back to prosperity. Yall just don't understand these complex economic matters, and likely if they don't blow a bunch of this money then it might be removed from their budget next year. Geez these budgets need to increase not decrease because of some frugality-how can you spend your way out of debt if you're not spending. People underestimate the power of the clown.

Bizkit
28155
Points
Bizkit 04/06/12 - 01:31 pm
1
0
Honesty and integrity are

Honesty and integrity are words that are falling out of vogue -probably should be deleted from the dictionary. It is virtually impossible to put integrity and honesty in any political context-like a black hole if you have the two they will be sucked out of you after your first year.

Bizkit
28155
Points
Bizkit 04/06/12 - 04:09 pm
1
2
Obama gives a political

Obama gives a political speech surrounded by women and targeting women and then says women aren't an interest group. Say what???? You gotta be kiddin'. You know the mantra by now-the GOP is anti-women. Of course, if you believe that then you must agree Obama and progressives are christian hating Marxist too . I mean fair is fair.

Sweet son
9526
Points
Sweet son 04/06/12 - 05:44 pm
2
0
Sounds like the Richmond

Sounds like the Richmond County School Board's approved retreat/party at the upscale resort lake near Eatonton! That woman should have been fired and whoever at the board that approved the "party" should also have been fired.

Bizkit
28155
Points
Bizkit 04/06/12 - 06:59 pm
1
0
They are government employees

They are government employees so likely if they are fired they will receive benefits for life or if not fires just reassigned to a new position. You know how it works. Rather than being fired they just as likely will be promoted to new administrative position. Jeez.

KSL
118664
Points
KSL 04/06/12 - 07:05 pm
0
0
A whole bunch more of them

A whole bunch more of them need to go.

Bizkit, how true. The Peter Principle at work. Wonder how many people posting here know what the Peter Principle is. I was taught it in high school.

KSL
118664
Points
KSL 04/06/12 - 07:06 pm
1
0
Why has it taken from 2010

Why has it taken from 2010 until now to get her behind gone?

KSL
118664
Points
KSL 04/06/12 - 07:08 pm
0
0
Wonder how many posters know

Wonder how many posters know who Star Parker is.

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