In the Coast Guard's Defense, It's Cheaper to Make Your Own Beer Than to Buy Microbrews


I don't know about you, but I never get tired of stories about the crazy shit our public servants buy with their government-issued credit cards. A recent investigation by the Government Accountability Office turned up these amusing items among purchases by officials of the Homeland Security Department:

  • $68,500 for 2,000 unused dog booties
  • $7,790 for a 63-inch plasma monitor that, per The New York Times, "sat for six months, unused, in its original carton" (until it was hauled out to watch the Super Bowl? to play Grand Theft Auto?)
  • $7,000 for iPods, to be used by the Secret Service for (ahem) data storage (now you know what those little earpieces are for)
  • hundreds of thousands of dollars for computers that vanished right after they were bought
  • $227 for a beer brewing kit to supply Coast Guard parties

The GAO, reports the Times, found that "45 percent of purchases did not have appropriate preauthorization by supervisors and that 63 percent did not include documentation stating whether the goods or services had been received." Department spokesman Russ Knocke responds that "more resources have been spent on investigating these anomalies than the amount of resources actually lost."

Got that? It's the GAO that's wasting taxpayers' money, by investigating how other people are. Think of how much money we could save if only the GAO would stop paying attention to this stuff.