Your Money, Backatcha


USA Today reports on a study commissioned by congressional Democrats showing that "The Bush administration has more than doubled its spending on outside contracts with public relations firms during the past four years." Details:

The administration spent at least $88 million in fiscal 2004 on contracts with major public relations firms, the analysis found, compared with $37 million in 2001, Bush's first year in office. In all, the administration spent $250 million on public relations contracts during its first term, compared with $128 million spent for President Clinton between 1997 and 2000. The analysis did not examine what the Clinton administration spent during its first term.

The top-spending agency during the past four years, at $94 million, was the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The biggest federal public relations contractor in that period was Ketchum, with $97 million.

Yes, that Ketchum. Cynical Skeptical minds want to know—did Medicare get the cash in the run-up to a certain piece of entitlement-expanding legislation?