We try not to use this Blog as a bully pulpit. After all we are here to talk about expat living in Mexico. The fact is we are formerly from the United States. We remain citizens there.
We call Mexico home these days – not the other way around.
Some days this has more meaning than others. In yesterday’s news was a story about the U.S. Justice Departments (DOJ) mismanagement relating to ridiculous expenditures.
OK so what else is new? But even at that this stuff just seems to be over the top.
We have not been a fan of Eric Holder, the current United States Attorney General and head of the Department of Justice. Holder was appointed by President Obama in 2009.
Holder gave a speech on race relations in February, 2009, during Black History Month, in which he called the United States “A nation of cowards” on racial issues.”
He continued, “Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we average Americans simply do not talk enough with each other about race.”
The speech caused some controversy.
Obama rebuked Holder’s comments, saying that “I think it’s fair to say that if I had been advising my Attorney General, we would have used different language”.
It would appear appointing a black man, the first ever U.S. Attorney General, with a chip on his shoulder might not have been the wisest move.
So on Holder’s watch in conjunction with his predecessor Michael Mukasey the Department of Justice mismanaged huge sums of tax payers’ dollars as depicted in yesterday’s story:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the U.S. government grapples to find ways to trim the bloated federal deficit, a new report suggests officials might start with cutting out $16 muffins and $10 cookies.
“We found the Department (of Justice) spent $16 on each of the 250 muffins served at an August 2009 legal conference in Washington,” said a DOJ Office of Inspector General report released on Tuesday.
The DOJ spent $121 million on conferences in fiscal 2008 and 2009, which exceeded its own spending limits and appeared to be extravagant and wasteful, according to the report that examined 10 conferences held during that period.
The review turned up the expensive muffins, which came from the Capital Hilton Hotel just blocks from the White House, as well as cookies and brownies that cost almost $10 each.
The department spent $32 per person on snacks of Cracker Jack, popcorn, and candy bars and coffee that cost $8.24 per cup at another conference, the report said.
The DOJ also spent nearly $600,000 for event planning services for five conferences, the document said.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said most of the gathering were held when there were no strict limits on food and beverage costs, adding the DOJ had taken steps since 2009 “to ensure that these problems do not occur again.”
Word of the agency’s extravagant spending drew a swift response from Capitol Hill.
Senator Chuck Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee which has oversight of the Justice Department, said the report was a blueprint for the first cuts that should be made by the “super committee” searching for at least $1.2 trillion in savings.
“Sixteen dollar muffins and $600,000 for event planning services are what make Americans cynical about government and why they are demanding change,” Grassley said in a statement. “People are outraged, and rightly so.” (Reporting by JoAnne Allen; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Sixteen bucks for a muffin! We have been complaining about very large, delectable muffins from Chedraui’s bakery escalating in cost from 4 pesos to more than 6 pesos over the last few years. That is 29 cents US rising to 43 cents U.S. You might imagine how silly we feel about that.
Experience has shown that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
Six hundred thousand taxpayer dollars went into the planning of five DOJ conventions – just the planning! During 2008-2009 ten DOJ conferences cost $121,000,000.00.
$12,100,000.00 per conference on average; it seems the United States has truly gone mad.
But, where is the anger of the citizenry. Is this just another $700 toilet seat or expensive hammer, government waste story? Will anyone get mad after reading the Reuters article?
We who paid in social security payments our entire working life, along with companies we worked with matching those payments, are now being told the retirement money is running out. We kept our end of the bargain (forcibly – but kept). Now we are made to feel guilty for getting some of our investment back because the bean counters miscalculated or dare we suggest a lot of money controlled by the government has been mismanaged.
A deal is a deal as far as we are concerned.
When will U.S. citizens say, “Enough is enough!”
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.
Later we will report on the ‘free’ new license plates that we all must get for our Mexican plated cars here in Veracruz. Hang-on and Stay Tuned!