Use-It-Or-Lose-It on Fox Business Bulls and Bears

Use-It-Or-Lose-It on Fox Business Bulls and Bears


Well you make it they take it, and they blow it on crab and lobster. According to a new report the federal government went on a use it or loose it spending spree last year. With a whooping 97 billion dollars of our taxpayer money being used. Spending nearly 5 million bucks on lobster tail and crab, more than a million on standing desks, more than $600,000 on golf carts the list goes just on and on and on. Federal agencies scramble to use whats left in their annual budget by September. That’s the end of their fiscal year. Their goal of course is to insure that congress doesn’t appropriate less money in the next year. Here now is Adam Andrzejewski he’s the founder and CEO of OpenTheBooks.com the watch group responsible for this report. Adam there are very few things in this planet which make me as mad as government wasting my money. But it’s getting worse right? Well it is getting worse, we took a look at the last four fiscal year ends. The September of 2015 when the Federal Government, their blow off spending was about 62 billion dollars Then in 2016 it went to 73 billion dollars. In 2017 it went to 83 billion, and finally last year it went to 97 billion dollars in the last month. And actually more than half of it was in the last week. Incredibly one out of every ten contracts procured during the entire year was spent in the last week. 53 billion dollars. Adam it’s Jonas Farris here whats the deal you know all these list have been going back for as long as I can remember, and it used to go back to the Pentagon with their 200 dollar hammers. Like what is the deal with the Defense Department and the just sheer waste. Is it across the board where it’s all departments? Why don’t you see this stuff about like the Social Security Department? What is it about defense where they get so ridiculous with like the foosball tables and stuff? So I think you know at the Department of Defense our data at OpenTheBooks.com shows that every single year on contracts they spend about 250 billion dollars. In the final month of the fiscal year they spent 63 billion dollars so a huge portion of their spend was in that last month to spend down that budget so they at least get as much or more next year. Now we found some troubling transactions. You know 9,300 dollars spent on a club leather chair. We’ve talked about the nearly 5 million dollars worth of lobster tail and snow crab spent in the last month. We looked at the year, it was 22 million dollars spent by the Pentagon on lobster tail alone. Over the course of the past four years on lobster tail alone it was nearly 55 million dollars. And that’s not going to the troops. Yeah I think this is an example of cost plus accounting gone wild. So with regards to defense spending I looked back in history. Only one time in 1980 that all of our hazard parry for gate. They came in 50,000 dollars under budget. So it has been done in terms of defense spending, and coming in under budget. How do you think we fix this going forward? So we can fix it through some reforms obviously. I think the major reform rests with the congress. They need to get back to regular order where you have public transparency on every line and item of that budget. With public votes, public debate, committees, and sub-committee hearings. That will fix this faster than anything else. Adam this is Adam Lashinsky with Fortune, I like having other Adams on the show welcome. I appreciate the work that your doing I have two questions to help me understand what it is that you’re doing. Number one how do you know that an expenditure that happens in the last week or month or however you define it, how do know that’s a blow off expenditure? And secondly how does this government behavior compare with corporate sector behavior say at Fortune 500 companies with large budgets who also have money to spend at the end of the fiscal period. So those are great questions, I think we’d feel a lot better about the use it or loose it spending specifically at the Pentagon. If they could simply pass their audit. As you know Adam for the past couple of decades they were required by law for an audit. The president did force the audit, 1,200 auditors they spent 400 million dollars on their audit of the Pentagon, and they flunked. Any idea on how to compare it to the corporate world? So the corporate world uses zero based budgeting. So they start at the ground up, every expense has to be justified. And in the end every expense is audited. That’s what we advocate for the Federal Government as well. Adam this is Gary Smith, going back to Adam Lashinsky’s remarks of course he would not be that skeptical. He eats lobster every time. So for him that’s just normal. People eating lobster at the end of the year. He’s like, “Hey whatever I eat that all the time!” It’s every other day Gary. Look if I am in one of those departments, defense, treasury, state. I’m just gonna do what my boss says, and my boss is eventually the cabinet secretary. No one out there is gonna say, “Hey you know lets tighten up.” Because they know that eventually they keep doing that people are going to say, “Hey why do we need such a big State Department?” Or, “Why do we need such a big Department of Commerce?” So I your point about there needs to be congressional oversight. But don’t we have just the same problems there? Congress particularly, well it doesn’t matter left or right. Keeps approving these bloated budgets. That we can’t match in revenue. So don’t we need something more along the lines of some balanced budget amendment to kind of clamp down on this spending? Well we have urged the president in open letters published at the Wall Street Journal, and our petition signed by 103,000 regular Americans. As Commander in Chief the president should wage war on waste. Specifically we’ve outlined one hundred outrageous examples of tax payer abuse. One of those was at the Pentagon. They were actually paying 1,200 dollars per coffee cup. And when Senator Grassley wrote them an oversight letter from Senate Judiciary Committee the Pentagon admitted to spending 350,000 dollars on those expensive coffee cups. So the President, he needs to get engaged on spending. He’s tipped us to his messaging for the re-election campaign in 2020. He’s gonna run it against socialism, and democrats draining the treasury from the left. Republicans need credibility on spending, they cannot be seen as draining the treasury from the right. Adam one thing I gotta make absolutely clear, when the lobster, and the lobster tails, and the crab. It’s not going to the troops. These are going to Pentagon officials, to the bureaucrats, to the fat cats, contractors, etc. That’s whats really obscene is that when the troops need things like protective armor and stuff. Instead it’s going to thousand dollar coffee cups. It’s just awful. Thanks you for bringing this to our attention, please come back and see us again Adam, appreciate it. Thank you David for your interest in our work. Great stuff.

One thought on “Use-It-Or-Lose-It on Fox Business Bulls and Bears

  1. Illinois has its problems, but I'm also proud of some great forces for freedom and liberty that hail from this great state: Open the Books, Turning Point USA, Illinois Policy Institute…and many great individuals behind these entities.

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