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


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).