And Then They Blew $5 On Some X-Ray Specs That Didn't Even Work


The TSA embraces the holy trinity of waste, fraud, and abuse:

Employees with the agency in charge of safeguarding air travel spent more than $370,000 to lavishly decorate an office and then tried to cover up the cost by having an invoice rewritten, according to a government audit that blasts the agency for "wasteful" spending.

Officials at the Transportation Security Administration also bought $3,000 Subzero refrigerators and built a fitness center the size of a college basketball court, says the report, released Tuesday by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general. The costly perks were put in an office in suburban Washington, D.C., that opened two years ago as a TSA crisis management center, the audit says.

The report says TSA employees violated federal spending rules and in one case an ethics regulation. And TSA senior management "created a culture in which procurement procedures were abandoned, ethical norms slipped and fiscal responsibility was neglected," the report says.

TSA spokesman Mark Hatfield (not that Mark Hatfield) tells USA Today's Thomas Frank (not that Thomas Frank) that there's nothing to worry about:

Hatfield acknowledged "a failing of the system," which he said has been corrected.

NEXT: Your Tax Dollars, Building Madrassahs

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  1. SOP in the federal government. This is only news because it’s a new agency that got busted.

  2. But the “fitness center” will more than pay for itself in a reduction of health care costs per employee, and reduction of time lost due to sickness!

    Or so they always justify, err, tell us.

  3. Shouldn’t it be “unholy trinity”?

  4. Is our government getting so large they’re running out of original names?

    The scriptmeister needs to be fired!

  5. Look, just because they can’t handle money for airport security, that doesn’t mean they’d make a mistake when using torture or holding somebody without trial.

    We’re at war here! And don’t you care about the children?


  6. Shouldn’t it be “unholy trinity”?

    You knocking the TSA, Jeremy?

  7. Unbelievable Thoreau, this is where you normally say, “Would have been worse under Kerry!”

  8. Bold prediction –

    Ten years from now, the TSA will be ~25% bigger than it is today, consume an annual budget 30% larger in constant-dollar terms, and provide ~20% of the airport security services it currently does. Every 2 or 3 years, some cost-control zealot will rant about the waste, only to be shouted down by lobbyists for the multi-billion-dollar Homeland Security industry, which makes its living off of bloated “emergency” US Government contracts.

    Love McHale’s rebuttal – whenever the auditors catch you, just call the audit “deeply flawed.” Didn’t work for Ken Lay, but hey, the Government plays by a different set of rules.

  9. Mark,

    That seems to be an overly optimistic prediction to me. You are being too generous!

  10. Unbelievable Thoreau, this is where you normally say, “Would have been worse under Kerry!”

    In this case that’s probably accurate, since he was one co-sponsors of the legislation that created the TSA, and was one of the proponents for federalizing all the checkpoints.

  11. Have we reached the point where it would have been cheaper to give away a Colt .45 to ever person boarding an airplane in the US since 9/12/01? The same number of incidents would have occured and fliers would have been much more polite.

  12. TSA spokesman Mark Hatfield (not that Mark Hatfield)

    The TSA guy is the son of the former Senator from Oregon.

    This raises the question: what percentage of offspring of government types end up in government themselves? We have generations of Kennedys and Bushes and Powells and Gores active on the national scene. Locally in Portland, the Kafoury family has had about 2 million members in various positions of the bureaucracy. Is government work the new “family business”?

  13. Is government work the new “family business”?

    I don’t think there’s anything particularly new about that trend. Oh, and don’t forget the Tafts.

  14. once i finish my masters i’m so going to get a job in government. i can steal, play basketball all day, never perform and the worst thing that will happen is i eventually lose my cushy job.

    fuck this libertarian shit, i’m going to get PAID.

  15. And Then They Blew $5 On Some X-Ray Specs That Didn’t Even Work

    At least they didn’t waste money on sea monkeys, but that may already be included under the catfish tariff.

  16. Franklin Harris,

    maybe if they added sperm to the Sea Monkeys, we’d end up with super-duper intelligent shrimp that would find a way to solve all our energy problems. 🙂 🙂

    I know–we should apply for a grant from the government for $1,000,000 to do a study just like this. We’ll call it something like, “Analyzing the effects of introducing various forms of male Homo sapien gametes to Artemia salina.”

  17. Hoo, doggie, i sure would hate to be the person that ever gets caught wasting Uncle Sam’s money! I don’t think my wrists could take all the slappin.

  18. The Tafts only followed in the footsteps of the Adams.


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