Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brits chuckle over Uncle Sam's luncheon spending

A government audit of spending for conferences and official lunches produced titters among British efficiency experts.

The Justice Department spent “the not insignificant sum of $16 (£10) on muffins, $10 on biscuits and $32 a head on snacks...

“Whether they were plated with gold isn't clear...,” according to an item in the UK on-line edition of “Management Today.”

Then there is the “$76-per-person conference lunch at a Hilton hotel in San Francisco, which featured "slow-cooked Berkshire pork carnitas, hearts-of-romaine salad and coffee at $8 a cup.”

Conservative Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Ia, said the report should show the Congressional Super Committee where to cut to achieve a grip on the national debt of $14 trillion and yearly budget deficit of $1.4 trillion.

The committee, which is made up of six members of the House and six members of the Senate, has been assigned to either cut government spending or see the budget automatically cut across the board by trillions over a 10-year period. As such, it's a very neat end run around Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which stipulates in no uncertain terms how spending is to be controlled, appropriations determined, taxes levied, and all such as that. T'is the new way, shipmate. Say what?

The chief auditor who wrote the report gave the tongue in cheek opinion that “the costly meals and snacks were an 'extravagant' waste,” according to the BBC.

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