The Government is Abusing its Business Expenses, Bigtime
Congress.org sends out an occasional newsletter to let me (and anyone else on the list) know what’s happening around Capital Hill, both the good and the bad (though I suspect not the worst). Today I received an email titled GAO Report on Government Credit Card Abuse which stated the following:
The Government Accountability Office recently released a report…for the 2006 fiscal year detail[ing] certain improper charges that were put on government credit cards, including:
- $13,500 for dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse [USPS]
- $1,100 for internet dating services [USPS]
- $77,000 in high-end clothing stores [Dept. of Defense]
- $360 on women’s underwear and lingerie [Dept. of State]
The study found that around 41% of the purchases made with purchase cards during that time period were inappropriate.
Remember, you pay for the government, which in turn means you paid for all of these items. And it gets much worse.
The email then linked to this article from Congress.org which reports these much larger abuses:
- The U.S. Forest Service$642,000 in fraudulent checks paid to cardholder’s live-in boyfriend
- National Science Foundation $1,800 worth of fraudulent purchases from a nail salon
- Department of the Interior $24,300 worth of “Improper cash advances” for personal gain
The entire report can be found here, in PDF format. Note that the $642,000 that was being embezzled to some government worker’s boyfriend came directly from the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service firefighting fund over 6 years.
In the past 6 years, more than 4 million acres of forest were consumed by wildfires, taking dozens and dozens of lives and destroying countless homes, all while the embezzler’s boyfriend spent the money on gambling and drinking his life away.
I strongly urge you to visit this website and submit your thoughts, which will be sent directly to the legislators which represent you, everyone from your local district representatives to the George W. Bush himself (well, his email auto-responder anyway). The act may seem pointless as you’ll likely only receive auto-responses, and I can appreciate the seemingly shortcomings of blogging and sending emails when compared to the aggrandizement of corruption that exists today, but anything is something, and that’s better than doing nothing.
If you’re interested in cut and paste, here was my message:
I am deeply saddened by this latest report. It is simply a confirmation of what so many Americans suspect to be true, but so many also choose to ignore: our Government is a giant ball of flaming corruption, encompassing its people and sending us down the same road that all once-great nation’s follow; utter demise.
While our military is sent off to spread freedom in other lands and our police officers harass teenage skateboarders, the very government that sanctions them overlooks its own inner turmoil. The government that we’re paying to keep us safe and sound is spending that very money on lingerie and having their nails done while Americans everywhere scrape together money to pay for gas to get to work to make enough money just to pay for gas and get to work again.
It saddens me to live in a land with such potential — one full of a vibrant and diverse people as well as an awe inspiring landscape — and have it run by such evil. There is an America of the past that brings to mind thoughts of pride and freedom, but that America is not the one I live in today.
I just pray that someday that place might exist again.
Remember, if you do fill out the form, you’ll want to avoid stating anything outlandish or “terroristic”, the Government is watching you, and while they likely don’t give a damn about your lols and omgs to buffylove420, they certainly will flag you if you start mentioning bullets and brain sandwiches.
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