Read More »"/> Read More »"/> How Washington D.C. Works, Or Not, Part 6 | MyGovCost | Government Cost Calculator

How Washington D.C. Works, Or Not, Part 6

Sunday September 29th, 2013   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 10:06am PDT   •  

Flushing Your Money AwayThis is the final week of the U.S. federal government’s 2013 fiscal year. The federal government’s bureaucrats will spend more money this week than in any other week of the year.

Are they spending it on essential services? Are they spending it on things that matter to regular Americans? Are they paying down the nation’s debt to keep from running into the national debt ceiling and defaulting on debt payments later this month?

Don’t be silly. The Washington Post describes how they’re actually spending taxpayer dollars during this last week of the U.S. government’s 2013 fiscal year:

On Monday, VA paid $27,000 for an order of photographs showing sunsets, mountain peaks and country roads. They would go into a new center serving homeless veterans in Los Angeles; a spokeswoman described the art as “motivational and calming, professionally designed to enhance clinical operations.”

On Tuesday, the USDA bought $127,000 worth of toner cartridges (“end of year,” the order explained). VA spent another $220,000 on artwork for its hospitals.

On Wednesday, the Coast Guard paid $178,000 for cubicle furniture, replacing high-walled cubes with low-walled ones to improve the air flow in a large office area.

“Other higher-priority projects were not able to be executed, so they moved [money] to this lower-priority project” before the year’s end, said Coast Guard spokesman Carlos Diaz. “The money was going to be spent anyway.”

On Thursday, VA was buying art again. It spent $216,000 on artwork for a facility in Florida. In all, preliminary data showed that the agency made at least 18 percent of all its art purchases for the year in this one week. One-sixth of the buying in one-52nd of the year.

Regarding the VA (a.k.a. the United States Department of Veterans Affairs), we’ll note once again that all of the federal government’s spending in the 52nd week of its fiscal year would be enough to sustain this entire department’s operations and art acquisitions for an entire year, if the federal government’s bureaucrats would just not burn through so much money so wastefully and instead focus on genuinely meeting the needs of the American people they claim to serve.

But then, the federal government’s bureaucrats have other priorities.

For those of you who would like to catch up on what has become a series, here are MyGovCost’s posts on the topic:

Featured Image:
Saint Paul, Minnesota Water Treatment

Facebook Twitter Youtube

Support the Independent Institute when you shop on Amazon with the AmazonSmile program. Every time you make a purchase, 0.5% will be donated to Independent on your behalf, at no extra cost to you. Just visit, log in using your usual Amazon account details, and select the Independent Institute as your charity.


September 2013