Few people, except for the super informed and those who follow government agencies have ever heard of the Government Services Administration. The GSA, as it is known, has seen fit to change that knowledge, however. Almost two years ago, in 2010, the GSA decided to throw a fling and call it a convention, in no less a place than Las Vegas, NV. The cost to the taxpayers of this outrageous party was over $800,000.
It takes a moment for that amount to soak in, but yes, we are talking about almost a million dollars was thrown away on a party for a select few people in a government agency. This is a symptom of elites in the government and their attitude toward the taxpayer’s money placed under their control. This attitude and these actions are wrong on so many levels. The lack of regard for the feelings of the taxpayers by the staff and administration of GSA is seen in the recorded video making fun of the fact they were wasting money and no one would hold them accountable for the wanton waste.
Exposing this one event, a question is raised as to how many more government agencies carry the same elitist wanton wasteful spending attitude as is seen in the video by the staff members of the GSA. We might never know the depth of corruption and scandal being allowed to permeate government at all levels.
As a cheerleader for ethical reform in government, I have come to understand we will not have genuine ethical change until the people who are elected to serve the public take seriously their role and responsibility to act and live with a standard of accountability driven by an ethical lifestyle. When a person is given charge over vast amounts of money that is not their money, the temptation is present to dig into the money for oneself. A person with a high standard of ethical behavior and an awareness of accountability for the funds placed under their watch will find ways to account for every penny of the money and how it is being used for the common good of the people who gave it through their taxes.
When there is a system of tax and spend with promises of providing for every pet project that arises from certain citizens who give to an election campaign, there is certainty of fraud at some point in the process. The question begging to be asked in this discussion of ethical reform is: “At what point does someone with ethical standards put a halt to wasteful spending by government cronies?” It took almost two years before the GSA corruption and scandal was made known. How many more such events have happened of which we are not aware? From where I stand, it is no longer just bridges to nowhere begging for our attention because some in government are having a party on the money of the taxpayers.
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