We’ve all heard about rogue firms that loot the investments of unsuspecting stockholders. They are paying the price for their dishonesty or negligence.
But at least one such organization is not being held to account at all. You guessed it the federal government.
John Stossel did one of his “Give Me a Break” reports about the Defense Department, and how it issues credit cards to almost everybody on their payroll, including those with terrible credit histories. Are there safeguards to make sure the purchases are of actual supplies for the Defense Department? Three-ring binders or guided missiles or whatever? Are there consequences for abuses? Not really.
When employees do rack up thousands of dollars in personal purchases, they don’t get fired, they’re just told not to do it again. One employee bought $12,000 of personal goodies. She was later promoted. One viewer thinks Stossel is biased. Most federal employees are honest, this viewer says. But Stossel’s point is that the system is what’s broken here, allowing those who are dishonest to more easily rip off the rest of us.
Another viewer reports: “I work for a travel agency that handles several federal government accounts, many based in Washington, DC. They choose a luxury hotel priced over the per diem rate and don’t think twice about it.
We advise them of their allowance and they reply, ‘It’s okay. The government’s paying for it.'” Which means that the taxpayers are paying for it you and me.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.