You and I work hard for our money, and it’s painful to see government agencies wasting it with ridiculous projects and inefficient practices. If you want to see some prime examples of how our elected representatives in Washington are throwing away taxpayer dollars, look up the 2016 Congressional Pig Book, published by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and available online (http://cagw.org/reporting/pig-book). CAGW estimates Congressional earmarks in FY 2016 cost taxpayers $5.1 billion.
For example, $40 million was earmarked to upgrade the M1 Abrams tank, even though the Department of Defense opposed it. The Army has so many M1 tanks already that 2,000 of them are mothballed in the California desert.
Sen. McCain recently released a report called “America’s Most Wasted,” which details some of the stupid spending the federal government does with our tax dollars, to the tune of more than $27 billion. The National Science Foundation spent $872,164 to study how children cross the street, finding (surprise!) that they tend to take greater risks than adults, and the National Institutes of Health spent $51,326 to see whether birds sing differently when they are drunk. And the list goes on…
Talking about inefficiencies, what about the U.S. Postal Service, which has racked up $46 billion in losses since 2007? It should have been privatized a long time ago. And the Veterans Administration continues to build expensive hospitals when it would be cheaper and more efficient to pay for veterans to get medical care at civilian facilities.
Here in Nevada, legislators also love to spend money on projects that are wasteful and unnecessary. A good example is Nevada Magazine, put out by the Nevada Commission on Tourism. Its budget for this fiscal year exceeds $1.2 million, money that would go a long way toward education, infrastructure, or other things more useful than a glossy magazine.
Or, how about the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange disaster? After spending $12 million on a state-run exchange, they elected to use the federal portal, which could have been used in the first place.
And then there are our so-called “prevailing wage” laws, which require state and local governments to pay workers on public construction projects according to schedules set by the Nevada Labor Commissioner. State regulations have been engineered to ensure that wages reflect union pay schedules, which means they add millions of dollars each year to the cost of building taxpayer-funded projects.
It’s widely known that public employees in Nevada earn much more than their private-sector counterparts, and when their juicy benefits packages are added in, they don’t even compare. If you want an eye-opener, check out TransparentNevada.com, which lists salaries for public employees. As just one example, out of 2,346 full-time employees in the City of Las Vegas, 893 had salaries of more than $100,000 in 2015. And 25 people listed as “part-time” also had salaries in excess of $100,000. Benefits packages added an average of 39 percent on top of the base figure. Then, of course there’s the Las Vegas Metro Lt. whose compensation package is over half a million dollars.
And, just because government workers are highly paid doesn’t make them competent. Auditors projected in the three years from 2009 – 2011 as much as $5 million in unemployment benefits was shelled out to inmates. A simple cross-check of prison rosters could have saved a lot of our hard-earned money. Lawmakers just don’t seem to understand it’s our money.
A good example is Senator Reid’s failed renewal energy loans, of which almost 90 percent of the $13.8 million loaned was never paid back.
It’s time for bureaucrats to run their agencies like CEOs. They’re always crying that they need more money, and their solution is to collect more taxes from working citizens. It’s time for the government to stop treating us like an ATM.
Call to Action: Question 1 is a waste of taxpayer time and money and would only hamper legal gun transfers while doing nothing to prevent crime or protect public safety. Preserve the strides made in 2015 for gun owners and vote NO on Question 1 this November. Additionally, tell your family, friends and colleagues and get the word out so we can collectively defeat this already vetoed proposal.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
By Whose Authority?
For more information on my Commentary and to see some of the backup research, or if you wonder why I take the position I take, go to www.LyleBrennan.com.