Fed’s Secret Spending Exceeds $20 Billion

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Not a day goes by when Americans don’t complain about the billions of dollars they see wasted by the federal government. A new investigation by the Washington DC NBC affiliate reveals that at least $20 billion in taxpayer money has been spent in secret this year. The news should come as an unwelcome wakeup call to anyone who thinks the feds should keep better account of the people’s money.

This secret spending is done through something called “micropurchases.” Federal employees are issued purchase cards that come courtesy of the American taxpayer. The investigation showed that these cards are used to purchase Starbucks coffee, gym memberships, clothing, and plenty of other inappropriate personal items. Had it not been for the filing of a Freedom of Information Act request, these purchases would have never been disclosed to the public.

Each agency implicated by the investigation, i.e., most of them, has their own excuses for the waste. They insist that micropurchases are a benefit to the taxpayers when the cards are not abused. It’s up to the American people, of course, to determine the line between proper usage and abuse. But it’s hard to make that determination when the federal government refuses to make the purchases publicly available except when forced to.

The problem here isn’t Starbucks or gym memberships so much as it is the secrecy behind the purchases. The federal government needs to be held to public accountability if we’re to have a democracy that works. People cannot vote properly without having access to all the facts. Granted, that might mean strict limitations on how much money can be spent on office coffee runs, but that’s the price of taxpayer funding. When you have upper middle class families and small businesses being taxed to the point that it hurts, you can’t exactly expect them to understand why $20 billion a year needs to be spent on office frivolities and personal comforts.

To be sure, $20 billion is not a lot of money when compared to total federal spending ($3.5 trillion in 2013.) But we can’t afford to be complacent even when it comes to the smallest pieces of the pie. Public funding for NASA, for instance, comes to around $30 billion. Would we rather have our federal employees well-stocked with Starbucks or a better space program? Or would we prefer that $20 billion to go somewhere else entirely, like back into the wallets of the taxpayer?

Unfortunately, most Americans have a limited idea of where their tax dollars go in the first place. Making these records public would do little to invoke outrage, simply because the amounts are so staggering. When you know the government is spending trillions a year, it’s hard to get upset about $20 billion. The numbers are beyond reasonable calculation. But if we’re ever going to tame the behemoth that has become the federal government, we’ll need to get a better grasp on where the money is heading.

31 Comments
  1. phanya2012 says

    I would like to see the report itself. Is there one?

  2. Jarhead says

    Merely a drop in the ole bucket the FED/GOV pays huge bonuses for criminal acts by employees.
    Many FED/GOV employees receive over double what the same job pays outside the Government, and do less work. case in Point: AZ VA Hospital Death BY Delay tactics to earn perks, vacations, bonuses, etc. on the DEAD BODIES OF U.S. Military Disabled Veterans. One Federal Agency even paid bonuses for employees who watched hard core porn for up to six (6) HOURS per day. IN SHORT: CRIME DOES PAY IF YOU WORK FOR THE FEDS and can keep your mouth shut.

    1. Will says

      If you could post some links to that information, My facebook name is Will Larimer. I’d really appreciate it.

  3. Bob says

    20 Billion is a whole lot of money. This and other wasteful programs need to be cleaned up. But won’t happen, since those in Gov’t have no Integrity to due the right thing. Money could be used for programs that would benefit others. Don’t need to spend money on IE: a shrimp running on a tread mill
    Vet

    1. elmcqueen3 says

      I agree…20 Billion is a lot of money…That being these frills are paid for with US tax payer dollars…On top of this are the salaries paid to those same government employees which are again paid for with US tax payer dollars…Of which a portion of these tax payer dollars goes to the SEIU in support of Democratic canidates or the Democratic machinery…To top it off federal employees are paid more and have a bigger pension plan and health insurance than any person working in the private sector…And Obma keeps opening up more federal jobs so that the economy looks as if it is really rebounding…All on the tax payers dime!

      1. Will says

        I pay for my own coffee. If I OFFER to buy you coffee, it’s my treat. If you steal coffee from me, in secret. I rightfully feel pretty ripped off. I hate criminality. Toss the criminal invaders, the gov’t thieves, corporate lobbyist’s and their targets. Get control. Let them spend what they NEED, based on the needs of citizens. It would be popular, at this time, to fire and charge criminals with their crimes, inside gov’t, just like law enforcement does to criminals Outside gov’t. Make the guilty pay, please.

  4. Mark Clemens says

    Did you know each Representative, Senator, Supreme Court Justice gets $1,500,000 a year to run their office?
    Who out there has a $1,500,000 budget to just run their office staff?

    1. Will says

      I didn’t though I should have. Thank You for the information. Dirty crooks.

  5. 7papa7 says

    Everyone of these people should be required to pay back every cent plus interest before they are fired and tried for theft.

    1. Michael Dennewitz says

      And the most disgusting part is, IT WAS OUR DAMNED MONEY THEY SPENT!!

      1. 7papa7 says

        That is why after they pay it back with interest they get tried for theft and go to jail and rot there.

        1. Will says

          They don’t have it anymore, Papa. They gave it away to the same international financiers who the neocon rinos work for. (neocoms and neocons work for the international financiers) http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-9-billion-witness-20141106

          1. 7papa7 says

            I was referring to every individual who abused it, not the government. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

  6. ONLYJB1 says

    So just how out of control is our federal government? The truth will continue to come forth and it will not get any better. In fact, it will get so much worse that the government best begin fearing the public. As Republicans sweep the mid terms, we still have RINO’s to get rid of. That will happen more in 2016. I just hope this new legislature will come in and begin kicking ass and taking names. If they don’t begin right off the bat, then it will be same song second verse and it will be up to the people to make the necessary changes. Obamacare, ebola, the borders and welfare corruption investigated and radically reformed, just for starters.

    1. Will says

      Gov’t has feared backlash from the people for decades (note how far gov’t workers go in the effort to strip gun rights from the law abiding). That backlash is what makes for liberty. When citizens fear backlash from gov’t, you have tyranny. Some great man in the past said something quite like that. (Thomas Jefferson).

      1. ONLYJB1 says

        OK, Republicans won! Now what do we have to look forward to? Only time will tell. Until we change the entire Republican party to a total Conservative base, maybe nothing will happen! Now is the time for the new Conservatives to change the good old boy Republican party! Why not? We the people are beginning to awaken! Let’s take it to the next step! It’s time to do away with the progressive communist administration! WAKE UP America! It’s time to get tough and yes, many will be hurt in the process! Many will be pissed off! Today, there is no alternative! It’s past time for change!!!!!!!!!

  7. James Autrey says

    They need to pay for their own damn coffee & gym memberships.

    1. Will says

      Just like you or me, James.

  8. fred says

    I just want the USA to control OUR currency again, get us on a precious metal standard and wave goodbye to the european bankers who forced us into this horrible FIAT currency, backed by nothing but false promises and unreported inflation of staggering proportions!

  9. Michael Bellinger / Cooliedawg says

    We need the Good Old Boys, the RINO’s and the Tea Partiers to work together as a Republican front and not fight each other now that they have control over both the House and Senate. 2 billion is a great waste on coffee and the gym and everything else they feel they need to steal the money for. Take their damn cards away from them and make every last one of them pay that money back..Then send them to prison!

    1. Will says

      That the neocon rinos spent more money campaigning against tea partiers than dems should give you an forward look into the machinations of the neos. Man, there was only one candidate on the Oregon state ballot that seemed to be anything but a neocon or neocom (they are the same group working for the same people, doing different jobs).

  10. daveveselenak says

    As for Starfuk’s, it blatantly is a government (our money) subsidy for promoting the Muslim-Marxist’s anti-Christian policy. He has done this with most left leaning capitalist endeavors – CRONY CAPITALISM! Starfuk’s has a transvestite ad featuring two of the most grotesque looking freaks being featured! He knows that the majority of Christians will stop patonizing Starfuk’s so communist financial support will be necessary to keep them in business!

  11. adrianvance says

    Their published printing has been about $1 trillion per year! That is will double with interest and have to be paid back by your kids, mine, and their kids and maybe their kids or the currency collapses.

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” for the facts.

  12. russel heim says

    How much of this secret spending is money obtained from the USDE where the USDE is making a profit from student loan processing? An article in the NY Times stated the government took 32 billion dollars from the USDE earlier this year and Joe from Morning Joe stated it was 51 billion dollars? NO wonder the student loan industry is complaining about loan debt? the issue here is that government entities aren’t allowed to make a profit from the public? Didn’t Obama nationalize student loans to the USDE in order to make loans cheaper? Where else is the government getting money from?

  13. Shauna says

    It’s called theft…..and they should have to pay back every cent.

  14. cjg says

    the usa never did control our currency, it is done by the rothchilds in london. the whole government
    is under the control of the illuminati, the sooner you wake up and face the fact the better… the next
    step is to control your life, as long as we have weapons, they can’t do it. you whimps and liberals
    and cry babies that want hand outs, yes you will get them and a great expense to you and your children.
    the stupid people that have been dumned down by the teachers of this country, and you still
    just ignore it.

  15. ONLYJB1 says

    And this needs to E N D ! It’s time to make our politicians accountable. Every wasted dollar needs to be accounted for and repaid by each of these departments! Even if it comes out of their own pockets!

  16. joe joe says

    when pigs fly people its a fu#king sham on the American people that’s why they want the amnesty passed for the illegals here is so they can blame all the money they have spent on reform! wake the fu#k up !

  17. Alice Maxwell says

    It is revelations like this that have ignited the change in Washington we have just seen this week….the Republicans are in and the Dems out. Write your new reps and ask them to repeal any legislative okay that has afforded this nonsense.

  18. ConservativeSenior says

    Are the arrests coming as fast as Lois Lerner’s arrest? More theft.

  19. soldiermom11 says

    how about if we dont lay off 40,000 soldiers?

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