Friday, September 4, 2009

Officials to Kansas Taxpayers: No Waste...We Swear

Government bureaucrats have never really cared much about the way taxpayer dollars are spent. Bureaucrats aren't elected and therefore have pretty much zero incentive to be advocates for good money management in government. The sad truth is that after watching legislation be pushed through in Washington this year, it's clear many politicians don't really give a damn what citizens think either.

A story in the Lawrence-Journal World quotes Kansas officials saying "statehouse restoration has been closely monitored" after the project has gone almost $200 million over budget!
"Don Heiman, the state’s chief information technology officer, told the Capitol Restoration Commission that he has examined more than 15,000 pages of documents related to the project and that cost overruns have been minimal."
We realize Washington is spending taxpayers dollars in the billions, but really? The cost overruns have been "minimal"? Who cares if 15,000 pages of documents have been examined! A project that goes $200 million over budget is a disaster and the taxpayers should be infuriated. This argument is similar to those who think "transparency" will put an end to federal earmarking. Nope! It just allows legislators to flaunt the information in the face of taxpayers.
"It seems that legislators already have sent the message they they are willing to appropriate about any amount of money contractors say is needed to do this project 'right'". - Lawrence Journal-World World, 6/15/09
The story also admits that really, no one in the statehouse cares it went over budget: "The project’s cost, duration and inconvenience is a frequent target of criticism from a small number of lawmakers". Isn't that comforting? Let's be honest, folks. Republicans are in charge in the statehouse and Democrats sure don't have the spine to halt any form of spending. This whole statehouse renovation is a perfect example that when government runs something, it will be more expensive, less efficient, and usually run into the ground.
"Legislative leaders on the commission made no negative comments about the project, which is expected to be finished by 2012." Shocking.
Oh yeah, Cash for Clunkers sound familiar to anyone? Good luck with that health care thing.

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