In a new twist on stimulus spending, the government’s General Services Administration laid out more than $822,000 for a rocking mega-party at a gambling resort near Las Vegas.
It was fabulous for the economy of Nevada but not so good for U.S. taxpayers.
The idiot who came up with this boondoggle still hasn’t been publicly identified, but the supposed mission was to reward 300 federal workers with an “over-the-top” conference in October 2010 at the M Resort and Casino.
Apparently, six advance scouting trips were necessary, costing a mere $130,000. Here are some of the other items paid for by you and me:
–A $31,208 “networking” reception that offered a thousand sushi rolls bought for $7 apiece, and morsels of gourmet cheese for which Uncle Sam paid about $19 per attendee.
–Commemorative coins, delivered in velvet-lined boxes to all participants at a tab of $6,325.
–Breakfast every day at $44 per head.
–“Team-building” conferences that included an inspiring $75,000 presentation on how to screw together a bicycle.
–The professional services of a clown (who probably felt right at home) and a mind reader, whose bold fee of $3,200 suggests that he also performed some hypnotism.
A powerful and far-reaching agency, the GSA is in charge of major government purchases such as office buildings and fleet vehicles. Why not reward its workers for efficiency and frugality by sending them to a Vegas casino at taxpayer expense? Brilliant.