Jazz hands everyone!

Jazz is one of the most important musical genres.  It encompasses so many different musical methods that it merely impossible to categorize.  Jazz is just as comfortable in clean precision as it is in free flowing jam sessions.  Jazz is akin to poetry, it’s never wrong.  There is good jazz, great jazz, but never bad jazz.  There is no such thing as bad jazz simply because jazz is a free expression of a thought or a feeling or an emotion.


Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Ella Fiztgerald, Quincey Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Chuck Mangione, or Squirrel Nut Zippers. Regardless of who your are listening too, jazz is always a good thing.


I still choke up when I hear Louis sing It’s a Wonderful World.





Not only is jazz pretty darn good music all by itself, but many other genres of music find their roots in jazz.  Where would blues or rock be without jazz?  Just try to imagine life without Elvis, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, or Led Zepplin.


Although, not everything turns out roses in the music industry.  Bieber, Gaga, and American Idol are all the result of an omnipowerful music industry forcing consumers to spend good money on complete garbage.  How in the world did anyone take this serious at all?


Really….  How did this get any attention other than pity and sorrow that a life has been wasted.

Regardless, Jazz is an amazing artistic expression.  So it’s places like Jazz at Lincoln Center (http://www.jalc.org/) that helps keep the spirit of the genre alive.

Their mission is:

“To enrich the artistic substance and perpetuate the democratic spirit of America’s music. From down home and elegant concert performances by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra… to entertaining educational programs that bring the sound and feeling of jazz into the lives of thousands of kids and grownups…”

Buried in their mission statement is this sentence:


“Welcome is our motto.”


I would kindly and respectfully request of the Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Mr. Wynton Marsalis and the Chairman of the Board Ms. Lisa Shiff that they change their motto from “Welcome” to “Thank you.”  You see, almost 13% of their operating budget was paid for by government grants…


$3,619,100 in fiscal year 2010 alone.  


Seriously.  $3.6 million.


And they have over $190,000,000 in assets.


For real…..  Here is their non-profit financial data:


http://www2.guidestar.org/PartnerReport.aspx?partner=justgivews&ein=13-3888641#


So why in the world is the IG supporting a musical center?  So let me get this straight…


A person or group of people study music.


They become a solo artist or start a band.


Many miles in beat up cars, vans, and pick-ups playing in nasty dives for beer money ensue.


Somehow they make a connection and strike a deal.


Trade in the beat up van for a private jet and the smoky dive for stadiums around the world.


Time comes to support Jazz at Lincoln Center and they can’t be found.


Why worry, the IG will pick up the tab….


Do I like jazz?  Yes.  Without a doubt.  Do I think Jazz at Lincoln Center is doing a good thing? Sure.  Music education and performances is a necessity for building a well rounded populous.  Is it the responsibility of the IG to make Jazz at Lincoln Center a viable business?  Absolutely not.  If they can’t make it on their own, they have a lot of options.  They can raise the fess a couple of dollars for a session.  They can cut down expenses.  They can solicit more donations from private citizens who choose to have their money spent in that fashion.  They can reduce the number of performances. They should do anything except run home to mommy and complain….


I know it is a tiny sum compared to the overall budget.  But you have to start somewhere, and eliminating spending on the completely insane is a great place to start.


Maybe they should raise the price of Bieber or Gaga and use that money to fund Jazz at Lincoln Center.  Maybe that will help balance out the travesty that is the disease of Bieber Fever.


What would you do with $3,619,100?

Raining money in Hawaii

I’m reading through some House budget appropriations (exciting, I know) and I can’t believe the waste I’m seeing all over the place.  It’s pretty disgusting.  Especially when I see this all over the place:


“The bill includes $272,800,000 for the programs and administrative expenses of the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which is $149,168,000 above the request.”

Above a budget request?  What you are saying is, a government department dreamed up how much money they could spend.  Then they passed that number on, and the amount that was budgeted was GREATER than the amount requested.

And it’s all over…

“The bill provides $90,621,000 for this account, which is $500,000 above the budget request.”

Although, the Census must have made someone unhappy…

“The bill includes a total operating level of$3,139,850,000 for the Bureau of the Census, which is the same as the budget request.”

We are running a TRILLION DOLLAR A YEAR deficit and we are over funding government budgets?

Sorry, someone just threw a flag on the play.  Overuse of italics… Sorry.

Here is the document I am having so much fun reading:


I’m reading away and I love how casually they throw millions here and there without even a full sentence to describe where my tax dollars are going.  Here’s $1,000,000 to The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, “to create, develop, and commercialize new technology for advanced materials.”  I wish I could sum up a million dollar business plan in a sentence fragment.

And then I find this line item.  In the NOAA (http://www.noaa.gov/) budget is $360,000 to “purchase, install, and maintain” rain gauges in Honolulu Co, HI.

$360,000 for a $2 item…. Rain gauge


With that many, you could plant more rain gauges than there are palm trees.  I mean seriously, how many rain gauges does Honolulu Co. need?  And besides, doesn’t the Weather Service have a bunch of those?  Or the Navy?  Why do we need to spend $360,000 of your money for more?  The Weather Service could send NOAA an e-mail ever hour on accumulated rain fall and not spend $360,000 in 10 lifetimes.

What would you do with $360,000?




Whoops….

I’ve made mistakes in my life.  Lucky for me, there wasn’t a Facebook or Twitter or even the internet when I was in high school and college.  No cell phones with his resolution cameras or readily available video recorders.


Whew….


Not that I was really bad, just a little mischief now and then.  But even into my adult life I’ve made mistakes. For example, the other night I was playing pool with my son.  I made a particularly difficult shot with the intent to give me a great leave on the 8-ball.  I quickly, confidently dropped the 8 and said my favorite phrase to my boy, “Rack ‘em up.”  At which point he pointed to one of my balls still on the table and in a smart alec voice, “What about that one.”


Whoops.  Game over. Score one for my spawn. I made a mistake.


Even with all the mistakes I have made, I have yet to get a tattoo.  Now I know all the tat lovers will start giving me all sorts of garbage, so stow it. While not a fan myself, I normally don’t hold judgement against those that do.


With a few minor exceptions.


Like this guy.


Or this guy.


And especially this guy.


Generally speaking, it is difficult to procure gainful employment looking like the above photos.  Add don’t even get me started on this dude:


Like I said, I’ve made mistakes, but none of my mistake stories start with “had FREAK tattooed on my chest…” and end with “…then had my tongue surgically split.”  They have been more of the “I lost a game of pool with my son by not paying attention.”

When I see someone with exposed ink similar to the above, I actually feel sad for them.  Deviant behavior is typically to sign of someone looking for attention and lacking self-confidence.  By doing something like this to their body, it demands attention.  Outward contrarian behavior is a cry for attention.  But I digress….

What do you do if you want to enter the professional workforce with your exposed body covered in tats?

Simple….  Just move to Mission Hills, CA, and claim that you are a recovering gangbanger.

Thanks to our magnanimous IG, $200,000 of taxpayer money has been set aside for tattoo removal. Yep… $200,000…

Wow…  I wish someone else would pay to save me from my own poor decisions.

What would you do with $200,000? 


We will win one way or the other…

Since the dawn of man, the formation of the “family unit” has generally followed the same steps.


Boy meets girl.
Boy like girl.
Boy postures for girls attention and affection.
Boy asks girl to participate in some formal ceremony of commitment.
Girl agrees only because there isn’t a life form worthy of her, but boy seems the best of the options.
Boy is always wrong.
Boy and girl make other tiny boys and girls.
The cycle continues.


This has worked since the first Neanderthal took the first woman by the hair and dragged her to the cave.  


Yet, for some reason, researchers at Penn State at University Park don’t buy that concept. They blame everything on TV.  That’s right, television. Here’s the worst part, they convinced the IG that they needed money to conduct this important research.

So they received a grant from the National Institute of Health for $702, 558 to carry out this work.  Almost three quarters of a million dollars……

So what expenses created the necessity for such a large sum of money?  Well, to study the effects of TV, you have to first find a place where TV doesn’t exist.  So the researchers went to remote villages in Vietnam.  That’s right, Vietnam.  And not only did the 14 remote villages lack TV, they lacked electricity. 

So they split the villages into two groups of seven each.  One group received nice big gas generators and fancy TV’s.  The other village, well, they were left alone.  I hope the villages without TV’s didn’t hear about the ones with TV’s because then envy would set in and envy does not end well in a Opportunistic State.

So seven villages in Vietnam will be subjected to the streaming stupidity that emanates from a TV. For their sake I hope the programming is decent.  I don’t believe waterboarding is torture, but I do believe that being subjected to an endless stream of Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Sex in the City constitutes as cruel and unusual punishment.

In Other News of the Ironic, episodes of Survivor were shown, yet the villagers thought it was a comedy and that all the contestants were wimps.

So there you have it. A three year study of how TV effects the:

“…the causal link between television and family formation and reproductive health.”

So here’s my question…  Well, one of them…  But, why do we care?  Seriously….  Who cares?  Is the IG going to read this research and them deem TV bad for our health and decide on controlling the programming?  Or realize that TV makes people dumb and numb and require a certain amount of TV a day.  What possible good can come from this research?  

Who cares……

Even odds says that the men grow fat and lazy, the children unruly, and the chores ignored.

Besides, what would you do with $702,558?




Rock and roll will never die

I love rock and roll.  I really do.  And music in general.  Music really adds to life.  The perfect song at the perfect moment.  Whether you are sitting in a dark, smokey bar listening to the effortless blues of Mark Knopfler or riding a bike through the woods at top speed listening to Kenny Loggins warn of the Danger Zone.   Or listening to two close friends play Pachelbel Canon in D on the guitar and flute (thanks again Beth and Chris) while watching the most beautiful woman in the world (still is) walk down to aisle to meet you to begin a lifelong commitment to each other.  Music is an integral part of our lives and the overall development of humanity.


Let’s switch gears and talk about the Cold War.  In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell marking the end of the Cold War between the ideologies of Capitalism and a freely elected representative Republic and complete state control with Communism.  Personal freedom and individual liberty won.  Yea Capitalism.  Many factors went into the winning the complex Cold War; military, diplomatic, political, and social.


But no, the money we spent winning the Cold War was not wasted.  I mean, I’m sure there was some waste in there.  It is the government after all, but winning the Cold War was as imperative, if not more, than winning WWII.  


Looking at just the social weapons of Capitalism, some credit Levi’s with helping to win the Cold War as blue jeans were a precious, and desired commodity behind the Iron Curtain.  Others believe that it was the influence of music, and specifically rock and roll, that helped win the Cold War.


Rock and roll was discouraged as an evil of the West officially, but small sanctioned clubs emerged in Soviet Russia.  Provided they work in conjunction with Soviet officials to ensure that the bands stuck to party dogma. Soviet rock was good, it’s just their biggest problem is that their amplifiers only went to 10.  None of them went to 11. So when they needed that extra *umph* they were out of luck.



Flash forward to today.  How does this impact the IG’s wasting of your tax dollars? Simple…  A federal grant was given to Jim Brown to complete a movie titled Rockin’ the Kremlin which shows how rock and roll contributed to ending the Cold War by specifically documenting the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as they visited the Soviet Union in the 1970′s.  To the tune of $550,000.


Really.  $550,000 to finish a movie about the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band visiting the USSR.


First of all, why is the IG backing this project?  Was there even a single person in Hollywood who would back this project?  Not one?  I mean, someone backed this project:


and this one:


and this:


and hatefully this:


So it was up to the IG to extort $550,000 from you, the taxpayer, to complete a documentary of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and how they helped defeat Communism?

The original funding came from the Grammy Museum and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of course I have no faith in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since they have continued to exclude Rush, yet have included the Moonglows and Spooner Oldham.  But I digress.

Spooner Oldham.  Really…. And no Rush.  Or Kiss.  Or Moody Blues.  Wow.

Anyway…  Secondly, why is the IG in the business to make movies anyway?  

Third, Spooner Oldham?  I’m having a hard time getting past this….

So it works out like this…  The IG decided that it was better to spend your money on a movie about the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band visiting Soviet Russia then for you to keep your own money.

What would you do with $550,000?





Well that was a freebie….

This is way too easy.  Sometimes the comedy writes itself.


The IG is often involved in important research projects.  I don’t dispute this.  I know my alma mater, the North Avenue Trade School, has benefited from IG research dollars.  Here’s the crux, the result of the research should be greater in knowledge value than the money spent.  Meaning, something useful should be the result of spent research dollars.


In 1962, J.C.R. Licklider described a “Galactic Network” while at MIT (the North Avenue Trade School of the North) and then made his vision a reality while at DARPA (http://www.darpa.mil/).  By the way, DARPA is really cool. This Galactic Network became what we refer to as the “Internet.”  Or WWW,  or interwebs, or net, or Skynet.


Chalk one up for Uncle Sam.  Well played, sir.


Now, this type of successful research project doesn’t happen by accident.  Someone, Mr. Licklinder in this case, had a vision for something that would be greater than the value of the resources required to fulfill the idea. He put together a plan, executed the plan, and now we have instantaneous worldwide communication.  Pretty cool.


J.C.R. “Lick” Licklider

For the record, I would have petitioned for a different nickname.  Just saying.

I know what you are thinking, “Why are you talking about a smashing success on a blog about IG waste?”

Great question…..  An equally great answer is that I want it to be clear that not all IG spending is wasteful.  Especially in research.  Government backed research has added considerably to our lives, health, and technology.  So I am not against government backed research.  

What I am against is stupid government backed research.  So how can you tell the difference?  Simple, you just can…  No one can quantify or explain what makes the Pontiac Aztec hideous looking, it just is.  The same logic can be applied to stupid government research.  Some research projects make you scratch your head and question the sanity of the people making the decisions on who gets money and who doesn’t.

So here’s my example.

In my home city, Atlanta, GA, there are two colleges that got together and formed a research group.  The schools in question were Agnes Scott (an all girls school) and Emory University (pretty much an all girls school).  Some rocket surgeon at Emory put together a research plan, submitted it for an IG grant, and received $592,597 for this ground breaking research.

And apparently someone at the IG decided that the knowledge would at least generate $592,598 worth of value in knowledge and/or innovation.  Because to quote the great philosopher, Navin R. Johnson, “It’s a profit thing.”


So what earth-shattering, ground-breaking research was funded?  To answer that with a straight face, I have to copy from the research abstract:

It has been hypothesized that neurological adaptations associated with evolutionary selection for throwing may have served as a precursor for the emergence of language and speech in early hominins.”

The title of this research translated into English reads:

“Why do chimps throw poop.”

Really.

Almost $600,000 of your money was confiscated by the IG because they thought it would be better for the world if they spent that money on trying to decide if chimps throwing poop was a sign of higher intellect than on you spending your own money on things like a mortgage, or food, or gas…

Because think about it.  The IG does not earn money, they confiscate it from the American taxpayers.    When they spend the money they confiscated from you, they are really saying, “We, the IG, believe that your money is better spent on this project then you spending your own money on things you want.”

$592,597 to determine if chimps flinging poo is a sign of higher intellect.  I can’t make this up.  If you think I am, visit this link.  It’s the full abstract of the program:


Regardless of what results $592,597 worth of research quantified, I can easily sum up the answer to the question with a simple observation…  If chimps slinging poo was a sign of intellect, then the group of chimps pictured below would be the smartest people in the history of humankind.


Like I said.  It writes itself.

What would you do with $592,597?





To get to the Shell station…

In some cases we have become a “Nanny State” where the government is always trying to protect us from, well, ourselves.  This story about a 4-year old girl who had her lunch confiscated by a state inspector for not being “healthy enough.” http://www.theblaze.com/stories/n-c-food-inspector-sends-girls-lunch-home-after-determining-its-not-healthy-enough/


But then there are times when the IG recognizes a problem and solves said problem to the benefit of the safety of you and me.  Looking at traffic data and determining that a stretch of road or intersection has a higher level of accidents seems prudent.  The next step is to analyze the data and surrounding environment and propose a solution to make the street safer sounds like a good thing.


For the record, I am against traffic accidents.  Regardless of how much a lot of drivers really need a nudge in the quarter panel.


So when a half-mile stretch of US Highway 27 in Florida is redesigned $3.4 million to reduce accidents, that sounds like a great thing. 


Here’s the kicker.  It has nothing to do with cars hitting cars or cars hitting people, or cars hitting other fixed objects.  Its turtles.  Seriously. Turtles.


For the record, I am for turtles.  If you have ever seen a sea turtle while SCUBA diving, you would be amazed at their grace and beauty.


I’m not for spending $3.4 million of yours and my money on a Turtle Underpass which is what was built.  And the logic used was to decry the dangers of a car hitting a turtle and the turtle being propelled and hitting another car.  And anyone who has played Super Mario Bros. knows the inherit risks of dead turtles being cast about.


What astounds me is the cost to dig a ditch, drop in some concrete pipe, cover it up, and put chain link fences on either side to funnel the turtles into the new Turtle Tube.  $3.4 million?  Really?

It’s a four lane highway, so assume 12′ per lane, so 48′ plus shoulder and extra.  So let’s say 80′ long.  Concrete culverts 24″x48″ sell for $116.25 (http://www.coxhardware.com/p-10024-concrete-culvert-pipe-24-x-48.aspx) so roughly $2400 in concrete.  Chain link fence runs about $3 a linear foot so a mile’s worth of chain link fence (including posts) is about $16,000.  So let’s round up to $20,000 in materials to include a little dirt, gravel, and concrete for the fence post footers.

  So here’s how the government works….

Hmmm….  We need to build a Turtle Pipe under US Highway 27.  Material costs should be about $20,000.  So when you add in labor, union fees, overtime, paperwork, EPA regulations, environmental impact studies, wetland remediation, temporary water retention areas, and tax tag and title, that comes to $3.4 million.

Sounds like a deal to me.

So why did the turtle cross the road?

It’s so simple.  To get to the Shell station.


The weather outside is frightful…

The American Recover and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was intended to provide a kick start to the economy and get us out of the financial funk that has beleaguered this country.  While we could discuss some of the more politically charged, finer points of the Recovery Act, such as, “Did it actually help or hinder?” but we can all agree that there was waste in the program. A lot of waste.


One example in particular happened in Cook, Co, Illinois.  Also know as Chicago.  The Windy City.  The Second City.  Vote early and often.


In 2009, $91 million went to Cook Co. for the sole purpose of weatherizing low income single family, multi-family, and trailer homes in Cook Co.  12,500 domiciles had been targeted as both low income and not properly weatherized, thus wasting energy.  


Here’s the kicker, nothing I am about to write about has anything to do with the decision to spend $91 million of your hard earned money in weatherizing low income housing in Chicago.  We could easily have a lively debate as to the importance of more energy efficient homes and how low income families cannot afford the generally costly upgrades.  We could then go on a much bigger discussion of our energy policies and global economics.  Finally, we would end up in a heated argument about the greatest scam in the history of mankind, the pending ice age, I mean global warming, I mean climate change, I mean a pending ice age…  And once you start talking about Global Climate Ice Warming you start talking religion.  


<Digression> I’ve studied Global Climate Ice Warming for over 10 years from a very open perspective.  If we are doing something bad, I want to know and change my ways. After intensive studies, I can clearly say that there is more science in Scientology that in Global Climate Ice Warming.</Digression>


So I will skip all that for today.


So here’s what happened….  A bunch of money was spent on weatherizing homes.  What that means is anyone’s guess.  Could be a variety of things ranging from weather stripping a door to re-insulating the entire home.  As is every good government program it’s specifically ambiguous.  But work was done on a select number of homes.


Somebody at the US Department of Energy decided to look into the success of the weatherization program.  So they selected 15 homes to inspect.  Of the 15 homes, 12 failed inspection.  And we’re talking epic fail. As in worse than this dude…


Not only was the work poorly done, in a high number of cases the houses were more dangerous.  From the report:

“For example, improperly performed heating system tune-ups allowed the heating systems to either improperly fire or emit carbon monoxide at higher than acceptable levels;”



Wow.


Here’s a link to the entire report:
http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/igprod/documents/OAS-RA-11-01.pdf


So the work was garbage.  The homes failed inspection by the DOE, but somehow magically passed at the local level.  In some cases, the DOE found that work that had passed inspection HAD NOT EVEN TAKEN PLACE.  No work was done, yet signed off as complete and in working order by local officials.


Not only was the work below IG standards, but expensive as well.  The DOE found that material costs were regularly 120% to 200% higher than consumer prices.  Where are all the anti-profit protesters now? Not to be outdone by insipid markups, but apparently the contractors employed don’t count very well.  In a house that would require 10 light bulbs, they would “sell” the government 12, or 15.


What we have here is the perfect storm of Chicago style politics, cronyism, sub-government standard work, government style accounting practices, corruption, and just plain theft.  All of which leads to a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.


What would you do with $91 million?

A full set of teeth, two last names, and a high school diploma..

Name three things you won’t find at a NASCAR race.


Yea, that was brutal.


Don’t get me wrong.  I love sports.  I love cars.  I just have a hard time getting excited about a combination of the two that was inspired by a dog chasing his tail.  


Here’s a good question.  If NASCAR held a race south of the equator, would all the turns go to the right? Hmm.


One thing I dearly love about NASCAR are the fans.  Absolutely rabid, fierce, and infinitely loyal.  They have simple beliefs in God, guns, and family.  Unfortunately, their family tree looks more like a flag pole, but I digress.


You would think that this crowd is suspicious of government intervention; rightly so.  You would think that this would be the last crowd the IG would waste money on for any reason.  But as we have learned, government waste knows no boundaries, exceptions, or intelligence.


So here’s what happened at a meeting of the FCC leading up to the pending change to digital TV.


Lackey: “We’ve got to find creative ways of educating people to the upcoming change to DTV.”


Tool: “I’ve heard of this NASCAR thing where 100,000 people sit in stand and watch cars go in a circle for hours.”


Idiot: “So you’re saying we have a captive audience?”


Tool: “I think so.”


Lackey: “How can we take advantage of this?”


Tool: “Apparently, the cars have advertising all over and by constantly staring at the ads, the crowd becomes condition to a marketing message.”


Idiot: “Kinda like when we repeat a lie so many times that people believe it…”


Tool: “Just like that.”


Lackey: “Well, let’s do it.  Make it happen.”


Tool: “Well I’ve pulled together a rough budget.”


*group laughing*


Tool: “I can get us a website advertised on the rear fender for $350,000.”


Lackey: “I’ve heard that NASCAR runs almost year round. That’s a bargain.”


Tool: “No, that would only be for three races.”


Lackey: “Sounds like a good idea to me. Let’s do it.”


So the IG decided that it was more important to advertise a web address for DTV.gov than for you, the American taxpayer to keep $350,000.


In Other News of the Ironic, the government has wasted untold millions of dollars trying to bring broadband to rural America, which is where the majority of NASCAR fans live.  So advertising a web site to people who don’t have broadband is pretty funny.


What would you do with $350,000?

Flight of fancy

I really enjoy traveling.  Exploring new cities, seeing new sites, experiencing different cultures.  Sometimes my travel is for business while other times it is simply for fun.  And it doesn’t have to be someplace exotic like Thailand or Argentina.  While I love being at both of those places, cities and regions here in the States can be just as fun.  For instance, I could visit Washington D.C. a hundred times and never get bored.  Regardless, traveling is a lot of fun and I enjoy being on the road.  Occasionally…..


Now, getting there is often referred to as “half the fun.” Now, if standing in long lines, being groped, crammed in a tiny seat, and lots of waiting…  Lots of waiting…


But I deal with it as does the high percentage of people who fly commercial airlines.  Of course I always feel the glare of the First Class and Business Class passengers as I make up part of the cattle herd to back of the plane.  So I make my way to the back, wedge myself in the seat, and do my best to go to sleep.  When I have trouble sleeping, I imagine I’m in freshman lit and promptly nod off.


But wait, this is supposed to be about government waste, not your ramblin’ missives on air travel.


Here’s the area rug that ties it all together.



What I thought were glares from the uber-successful simply looking down on the unwashed masses was actually the contempt of useless IG employees improperly traveling in the lap of luxury.


The GAO (http://gao.gov/) calculated that from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006, federal employees spent $146 million on improper upgrades to First and Business class.  Wow…  That’s a lot of money to spend on some government weasel just to be comfortable while flying somewhere.  


In Other News of the Ironic, as people like me made the conscience decision to fly Coach because I wanted to save the money and spend it wisely elsewhere, a government lackey was taking my own money and flying in comfort.  So I still didn’t save the money AND I traveled in the relative discomfort of Coach.


Who’s the elite class now?


One consistent theme, other than using the force of law to confiscate my hard earned dollars and wasting them on really, really stupid thing, is the answer…


 GAO noted that the $230 million spent on premium-class flights accounted for less than 1 percent of the cost of all federal government flights during the period. So the overcharges themselves amounted to less than 1 percent of the total spent on federal airline travel.”


Here’s the thing, 1% of the total IG budget is $32 billion.  That’s a lot of money.  I mean a lot.  How about we start by reducing our budget by 1%.  Then by 2%.  Then by, well you get the picture.


So, the next time you fly, look at the government wastoids in First Class and think about how wasteful the IG is when it comes to spending YOUR money.