Wasteful Government Spending, Post Office Edition

white mailbox with money

Just when you thought stories about wasteful and egregious government spending couldn’t get any worse, the U.S. Postal Service decided to give its employees government credit cards. According to a series of reports prepared by the Postal Service’s Inspector General and obtained by the Washington Examiner, postal workers have used taxpayer money to gamble and pay personal bills and other expenses. [1]

Among the atrocities:

  • One manager withdrew $32,000 to gamble, used a government card to rent cars and pay for gas and parking. All told this one manager spent $45,000 of taxpayer dollars on personal uses.
  • Another employee also took out $2,400 in order to gamble
  • Another employee paid herself $8,500 in salary and travel advances in one month
  • Another employee used a travel card for personal cash advances and hotel stays

The identities of all the employees in the report were kept secret and they were all met with disciplinary action. Still, it’s astonishing to realize just how much potential there is for fraud, abuse, waste and theft when it comes to the use of taxpayer dollars.

Shouldn’t our money be more protected than that? Shouldn’t there be safeguards designed to protect against this kind of waste?  Shouldn’t those we entrust to govern our nation take better care of who gets access to government funds? One would think.

Sadly, our federal government seems to not be very much concerned with its finances, whether it’s wasteful spending or ever-increasing deficits. But it’s not just the U.S. Postal Service. The Environmental Protection Agency spends $1.5 million a year to store unused pamphlets and brochures in a warehouse in Ohio. [2] In fiscal year 2013, the entire federal government spent $1.3 million on alcohol. [3] And let’s not forget the lavish spending in 2012 by the General Services Administration during a conference in Las Vegas that included a $31,208 reception. [4] Other examples are frequent, easy to find, and just as egregious. [5]

At a time when the national debt is at record levels, this kind of wastefulness should not be tolerated. It’s disrespectful to all hard-working American taxpayers who struggle just to get by in this fledgling economy. It’s just one more reason Tea Party fights for freedom, along with fiscal responsibility.