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Feds spend millions on lobster tail, booze, toys before budgets run out

Published in Blog on March 08, 2019 by Convention Of States

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Federal agencies have no incentive to spend taxpayer money responsibly. Why? Because if they don't use their entire budget for a fiscal year, it might get cut the next year.

The result is massive, wasteful spending sprees each September.

This year, federal agencies spent millions on lobster tail, alcohol, standing desks, golf carts, and more to fill out their budgets and ensure the same level of funding next year.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

A new analysis released by OpenTheBooks.com found 66 agencies spent $97 billion last September, the final month of fiscal year 2018. The end of the year taxpayer-funded spending spree included contracts with Coors, millions on iPhones, furniture, and CrossFit equipment.

"In the final month of the fiscal year, federal agencies scramble to spend what's left in their annual budget," OpenTheBooks.com said. "Agencies worry spending less than their budget allows might prompt Congress to appropriate less money in the next fiscal year. To avoid this, federal agencies choose to embark on an annual shopping spree rather than admit they can operate on less."

Resulting government expenditures included $4.6 million on lobster tail and crab; $673,471 on golf carts; $1.7 million on pianos, tubas, and trombones; $9.8 million on workout and recreation equipment; and $7.7 million iPhones and iPads.

A Wexford Leather club chair cost taxpayers $9,241. The government spent $293,245 on rib eye, top sirloin, and flank steak.

Before budgets ran out national security agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of State, and Department of Homeland Security spent $412,008 on paint and artist's brushes.

The federal government spent $2.1 million on games, toys, and wheeled goods, $490.6 million on furniture, and $62.1 million on household furnishings. Bureaucrats spent $1.1 million on standing desks, as well as $2.7 million on ergonomic chairs, $643,833 on sofas, and $40,379 on clocks.

We'll never get our budget under control when D.C. operates this way. It's time to impose real, effective fiscal restraints on the federal government, and we can do it with an Article V Convention of States.

A Convention of States can propose constitutional amendments that force Congress and federal agencies to be fiscally responsible. These amendments can mandate a balanced budget while also capping taxation and spending.

Imagine if Congress had to balance the budget every year without raising taxes. They'd probably think twice before allowing federal agencies to waste taxpayer dollars on lobster, golf carts, and standing desks.

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Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

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