The General Services Administration blew through $820,000 in taxpayers’ money in a lavish ”team building” trip to Las Vegas, and President Barack Obama is “apoplectic” at the news, according to the president’s campaign advisor, David Axelrod. Obama, he says, has devoted his efforts to saving “tens of billions of dollars” in cutting waste, fraud and inefficiency in government. Yet under President Obama’s leadership, government spending keeps growing irresponsibly, and neither he nor his allies in Congress are doing anything about it.
The latest example came last week when Democratic leadership in the Senate again passed the buck on enacting a budget — on April 29, it will have been three years since the Senate last passed a budget resolution. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND),whose job it is to shepherd a budget through the Senate, said of his decision: “This is the wrong time to vote in committee. This is the wrong time to vote on the floor. I don’t think we will be prepared to vote before the election.” Conrad also said that offering a budget would be futile and “would do little to move us closer to a bipartisan agreement that can actually be adopted.”
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In other words, budgeting is hard work that he’d rather not do, especially in an election year. Of course, 2011 was not an election year, and yet the Senate failed to pass a budget then, too.
The money that isn’t being budgeted belongs to the American people, and their representatives in the Senate have decided once again that it’s easier to keep on spending without restraint than it is to be responsible to their constituents back home. It’s that very attitude that has led to a government so big and so out of control that scandals like the one in the GSA are able to occur.
The hundreds of thousands of dollars blown in the GSA’s Vegas trip, though, is chump change compared to the hundreds of millions wasted in President Obama’s green jobs stimulus efforts. We all know the story of the bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra and the $520 million taxpayer-funded loan guarantee that went down the drain. But the latest example of wanton waste is Ecotality — a company that manufactures charging stations for the president’s much-favored electric vehicles. Ecotality received more than $115 million to install those charging stations, yet as Heritage’s Lachlan Markay reports, the company is far behind schedule. Now it’s under investigation for insider trading and is facing serious financial difficulties. Even so, the DOE decided to grant the company $26 million in additional funding.
Read More at The Foundry. By Mike Brownfield.