Government Spending

GSA Scandal Reflux: Obama Admin Blames Bush or, More Proof That Frat-Boy-Style Spending is a Bipartisan Problem

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Columnist Ron Hart notes that part of the Obama admin's response to a General Services Administration (GSA) scandal over wasting $800,000-plus on a conference is to blame Bush:

Our government has the financial discipline of a 19-year-old Ole Miss frat boy. And – I am not making this up – the Obama administration initially tried to blame the GSA excesses on Bush, much like our frat boy blames the towing company for costing him $200 when he messes up.

Fresh from welcoming his family back from Las Vegas, Obama was said to be "outraged" about GSA spending. This comes from the man who flies his wife and dog to exotic vacations on separate jets, just a couple of hours from when he flies in on Air Force One. The admonishment is all a part of the Obama administration's "Do as we say, not as we do" philosophy. He famously disparaged Las Vegas by saying "You don't blow a bunch of cash" there. Personally, I prefer my odds in Vegas; at least there I have a chance at winning.

More from Hart here.

Sadly, but tellingly, the cost of the conference did go up huge under Bush (a.k.a. the "Big Government Disaster"):

The administration also argued Friday night that the cost of the Western Regional Conference increased sharply under the Bush White House—from $93,000 in 2004 to $323,855 in 2006 to $655,025 in 2008, then $840,616 in 2010, or just 28 percent under Obama.

However, on Saturday morning Emily Baker, a former GSA regional administrator for President Bush, suggested to Fox News that the Obama administration is spinning the numbers.

"When they're talking about that it sounds good to say it went up over 100 percent," she said. "It went up to about $250,000 dollars. I mean it's a lot but when you start small it's easy to say it increased a lot."

Read more.

Consider this if you need more evidence of just screwed we are in terms of spending. In constant 2005 dollars, the government spent about $1.85 trillion in 1991, an amount that rose slightly to $2.1 trillion in 2001. In 2010, the total was $3.1 trillion (see table 1.3). Although the federal governent has not (and will not) pass a budget for the third straight year in 2012, the two main plans currently on the table envision spending either $4.9 trillion (the austerity-obsessed Republicans) or $5.8 trillion (President Obama) in 2022 (those figures are in current dollars).

NEXT: Brickbat: The Scene of the Crime

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  1. $4.9 trillion/year – Austerity sure is a bitch.

  2. lol, American politics, bet politics money can buy lol.

    http://www.Get-Anon.tk

    1. See, even the ChiComs are snarking at us.

    1. And ? I am not making this up ? the Obama administration initially tried to blame the GSA excesses on Bush…

      Jesus Christ, you can’t even parody these people.

      1. I could have accepted the excuse if he hadn’t capitalized “Bush”.

  3. Adam Carolla recommends GoToMeeting.com

  4. I think this is a sickness that starts from the top.

    When every administration treats the President and his family more like a royal family than the one before, that has an impact on attitudes all the way down the government org chart.

    I’ve also seen people defending the GSA junket because GSA is a large organization that handles a large $ volume of transactions, and “organizations like that hold conferences like this”.

    So basically you have people watching the President jet around the country and vacation, and watching private companies let their employees jet around the country to get training do teambuilding take vacation, and they think, “This is normal. That’s what we’re supposed to do, too.”

    1. Where is the Partnership for a Drug Free America when you need it?

      1. I’m sorry, I don’t understand your comment here.

        1. “I learned it from watching you, dad!”

  5. “Consider this if you need more evidence of just screwed we are in terms of spending. In constant 2005 dollars, the government spent about $1.85 trillion in 1991, an amount that rose slightly to $2.1 trillion in 2001. In 2010, the total was $3.1 trillion (see table 1.3). Although the federal governent has not (and will not) pass a budget for the third straight year in 2012, the two main plans currently on the table envision spending either $4.9 trillion (the austerity-obsessed Republicans) or $5.8 trillion (President Obama) in 2022 (those figures are in current dollars).”

    If you havent done so already, i think this is exactly the sort of thing that reason.tv should be used to illustrate, exactly how much the federal government has grown in the last 20 or so years.

    That sort of message, by itself would be huge for advancing the libertarian, fiscal conservative message. You needent even recomend a solution, just illustrate how recient and huge the problem is.

    1. They did that already multiple times. Most recently in the “slash govt before it slashes you” video.

      1. That one is ok, im thinking focusing on the last 20 or so years and just the spending side of the equation. The problem with bringing up revenue is that the left will always say that the problem is lack of taxes. What i think we could illustrate is that spending has gone through the roof since Clinton. If we just focus on that, i think people will get the idea on thier own that there is no reason to increase taxes to feed an ever increasing federal government.

        The most important thing here is to establish the narrative that spending has gone through the roof and illustrate that visually.

  6. Miss Hathaway is running the GSA?

    1. No, it’s that women from Glee.

      1. women = woman, argh

    2. I thought it was Carol Burnett’s janitor character.

      She’s there to sweep away the corruption!

  7. Let me be clear: everything bad is my predecessors fault.

    1. Was Hope and Change supposed to be an ironic slogan? Fucking hipster president.

  8. “When they’re talking about that it sounds good to say it went up over 100 percent,” she said. “It went up to about $250,000 dollars. I mean it’s a lot but when you start small it’s easy to say it increased a lot.”

    This is their counterargument? “Sure it’s big in absolute terms, but since we didn’t even used to spend this money, the percent change is misleading. Nothing to see here.”

    They can’t even whip up a half-assed “we’re going to put together a committee to reduce such excesses”?

    1. It’s a perfectly good counterargument since it disproves the argument. It’s not intended to be an argument *for* Bush.

    2. The infuriating thing is that her defense doesn’t hold water, it went from $93K to $323K to $655K. Those are both a lot higher than $250K and it’s over 6x increase.

  9. So instead of Blaming Bush(tm) Obama should be thanking him for bumping the denominator so high that his own Bourbon-Kings-of-Naples spending habits look more modest by comparison.

  10. Obama sounds like a second-grader whenever he contrasts appalling behavior to some lesser transgression in the past by some other second-grader. Why does appxly 50% of the country buy this sh*t? We criticize libertarians all the time yet Red and Blue team members happily wallow in
    sh*t and try to convince you it is chocolate pudding.

    1. Because their entire focus is getting a piece of the money forcibly acquired from non-governmental entities. So long as the cash keeps flowing in and out of government without limit, they’ll keep calling black white.

  11. 19 year old frat boys understand scarcity way better than your average life tenured government parasite. If you don’t have your shit together, you run out of beer. And that’s bad.

    1. sage analysis this…

  12. “When they’re talking about that it sounds good to say it went up over 100 percent,” she said. “It went up to about $250,000 dollars. I mean it’s a lot but when you start small it’s easy to say it increased a lot.”

    I guess Harvard Law doesn’t teach that the infinite harmonic series (ie, the sum of reciprocals of positive integers) is unbounded despite the reciprocals converging to 0.

    In other words, if I give you $1 and promise to add half a dollar the next day, a third of a dollar the next day, a fourth of a dollar the next day, and so on, you’ll have an arbitrarily large amount of money if you just wait long enough.

  13. Of course there was a lot of wasteful government spending during the Chimp’s reign. But Obama is supposed to be an improvement over the Chimp. Where’s the improvement?

    If the best Obama can say is that he’s no worse than Bush, that’s pretty pitiful. He couldn’t have picked a much lower standard to aim for.

    1. If the best Obama can say is that he’s no worse than Bush, that’s pretty pitiful. He couldn’t have picked a much lower standard to aim for.

      Romney is the new standard Obama needs to beat. So the bar is lowered once again.

  14. That Bush! When he wasn’t busy starving the beast he was snorting cocaine off of a hooker’s ass in Vegas with it.

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