The EPA Needs Military Weaponry?
|At a time when the National Debt is so obviously out of control, Two recent reports have once again shown the government’s blatant, wasteful spending habits. A Government Accountability Office report shows that federal spendthrifts are shelling out big bucks to the amount of nearly $125 billion for things we don’t need, don’t want or can’t use.
As an example, scrutiny of one agency’s budgets over the past several years shows a puzzling pattern of spending by the EPA.
The non-partisan government watchdog project, openthebooks.com, says the Environmental Protection Agency has spent millions equipping a 200-man army with guns, ammunition, body armor, camouflage, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night vision surveillance equipment. But that’s not all their waste.
The agency also employs “1,020 employees with the title of general attorney” who have been paid more than $1.1 billion over the past eight years, the OTB report reveals. The EPA also has 198 in-house public affairs officers on the payroll who are aided by outside mega-buck public relations consultants. Maybe their strategy is to shoot or sue environmental miscreants and if that doesn’t work, they can always talk them to death.
The Government Accountability Office also issued a report exposing recklessly inappropriate spending at 22 other government agencies and the amount of money is astronomical. It was ridiculous that last year, $105.8 billion of taxpayer money was lost or misspent, but the GAO says that just a year later some 20% more money went missing, an astounding $124.7 billion.
The GAO explains that these were payments that “should not have been made or that were made in an incorrect amount (including overpayments and underpayments),” noting that its aim was to identify ways the government can keep track of bad spending habits. As an example, The agency cited the need to strengthen the ways the government verifies Medicare providers and suppliers as a means of reducing improper payments.
When he saw the GAO report, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Orrin Hatch, succinctly summed up his take on the problem. “We talk about so much money here in Congress – millions, billions, and trillions of dollars. We casually cite dollar figures that are incomprehensible to most people. And, too often, politicians and policymakers talk about these dollars as if they are Washington’s, as if the funds just materialized out of thin air for the sole purpose of being spent by the government.”