10/18/16 – September Spending


Nearly twice as much money was spent by federal agencies last month than in any other month.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

September accounts for about one-sixth of all federal spending even though there are 12 months. That’s because officials have a “use it or lose it” mindset. Agencies fear their next year’s budget will be cut if they don’t spend every cent this year.

This results in wasteful spending, according to a study by George Mason University.

Federal officials acknowledge the system is broken. According to one survey of federal officials, 95% of the respondents “agreed … there is a problem with year-end spending.”

The problem is more blatant at some agencies.

The State Department and HUD spent about a third of their money in September. The Departments of HHS, Education and Interior spent about a quarter.

Here are a couple examples of waste.

One September, the State Department paid a million dollars for one piece of granite artwork.

Then it dropped five million on handcrafted stemware.

Sadly, there’s no accountability when officials sign-off on waste. Agency bigwigs get promotions and bonuses regardless of their spending habits.

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