As an American taxpayer, one of my prayers is for our government to be the best steward possible with the money they get from each one of my checks.
Unfortunately, as our National Debt Clock nears $16 trillion, we learned about another extreme waste of taxpayers dollars last week that is symbolic of the times in our government. President Barack Obama accepted the resignations of two General Services Administration officials after reports of a GSA conference for just 300 people costing approximately $820,000 in taxpayers’ dollars at the M Resort Spa and Casino in Henderson, Nev. near Las Vegas.
The GSA, which is a federal group managing real estate for the government, spent the money during a 2010 event.
The total included, according to multiple reports, $31,000 for a networking reception, $146,000 for catered food and drink, and $136,000 just to scout out a location for the event. Reportedly, a GSA team traveled to Las Vegas six times before choosing their location.
Some costs include $44 per person for breakfast, $57 per person lunches, $95 per person dinners, $7,000 for a sushi station, and $4 per shrimp.
There was also approximately $250,000 for a workplace initiative where employees could earn points for good work.
Another $75,000 was spent on a training exercise to assemble 24 bikes reportedly donated to the Boys’ and Girls’ Club.
More reports showed $3,200 spent for a mind reader session, $5,600 for in-room parties, and almost $2,800 in water bottles.
In fairness to the Obama administration, this type of spending for a GSA event began during the George W. Bush administration.
According to a Fox News report, the event cost $93,000 in 2004, increased to $323,855 in 2006, before reaching $655,025 in 2008.
As our nation continues to spend money it doesn’t have and our leaders continue to not pass a budget to balance the books, more of our money will continue to be wasted until our leaders get serious about our debt.
This event with the GSA put another glaring spotlight on the trouble our nation is in and our elected officials need to stop playing politics on both sides of the aisle to stop the situation before it gets worse.
I once covered a high school baseball player named Lucas Harrell at Ozark, Mo.
He’s worked his way through the minors and has had limited success in Major League Baseball until last week.
He tossed seven innings and gave up no runs in a win for the Houston Astros as a member of their starting five rotation.
The next time he pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals, be sure to cheer on the Missouri product. I will note his last strikeout of last season came in the finale against the Cardinals. He struck out David Friese looking on a called third strike.
With the way Friese played in the postseason and has started this year, Harrell’s strikeout is looking really good right now. Not many other pitchers have found any sort of an answer for Friese and that’s a good thing for Cardinals’ fans.