Our Tax Dollars At Work

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about the government spending related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The article reports:

The federal government’s coronavirus spending spree turned out to be a snow job — literally.

One Utah county spent more than $200,000 of its COVID-19 cash to make snow on a hill for sledding.

Auditors said Uintah County bought six snow guns at $20,000 each, along with snowcats and pipes, and paid $3,000 in shipping costs, all authorized by a single county commissioner. Local politicians told the Uintah Basin Standard they were coming up on a deadline to either use the cash or give it back to the state, so they needed a reason to spend. And they decided on snow.

Sen. Joni Ernst on Monday dedicated her December “Squeal Award,” which highlights ridiculous government waste, to Uintah and other state and local governments that found creative Christmas-style ways to waste COVID-19 money.

That includes Connecticut, where West Haven city officials spent federal coronavirus money on Christmas decorations.

The CT Mirror said Christmas wasn’t the only holiday city officials blessed with federal cash. They also rented a 20-person band to march in the Memorial Day parade with $7,000 of Uncle Sam’s money.

The article concludes:

A number of states used money to run tourism campaigns.

Auditors in local governments reported money allocated to holiday ornaments or bonuses to employees, both of which seemed at odds with the intention of the funds.

Ms. Ernst, in her Squeal Award, said at a time when Americans are facing soaring inflation and struggling to buy Christmas presents, it’s unseemly for governments to blow taxpayer dollars on boondoggles.

“There are too many struggling families and small business owners who are desperately trying to survive while untold amounts are being squandered because of inadequate guidance and oversight,” the senator said.

One of the COVID-19 projects Ms. Ernst exposed Monday involved plans by the town of Westfield, New Jersey, to buy 2,000 tote bags emblazoned with “Shop Local, Shop Safe, Shop Westfield.” The point was to encourage people to patronize local businesses struggling amid the pandemic during last year’s Christmas season.

But the bags weren’t actually distributed before Christmas.

Months later, they were discovered in unopened boxes in a warehouse, Ms. Ernst said.

Wasteful spending is neither a Republican nor a Democrat problem–both parties are guilty. We need American voters to keep track of what their representatives vote for and boot out the representatives that support wasteful spending. Inflation is a byproduct of wasteful spending. If we can get spending under control, we at least have a chance of getting inflation under control.