Taxpayers Haunted by Washington’s Spooky Spending on Tricks and Treats

Washington’s spooky spending can make every day in the nation’s capital feel a little like Halloween.  And we all know you can’t go trick-or-treating without a costume and a bag to collect goodies.

No problem, the federal government’s got you covered.

Federal agencies have paid more than $250,000 to construct their own custom-made costumes. This includes $5,000 spent by the Department of Energy to create a costumed character modeled after the Grim Reaper called the Green Reaper. And the list goes on, and on, and on.

Government agencies are also spending millions of taxpayer dollars on tote bags AND swag to fill them up, including:

  • $605,000 for coloring books,
  • $60,000 on key chains,
  • $33,000 for snuggies,
  • $17,000 for koozies, and
  • $16,000 for fidget spinners.

All of these are part of the government’s pricey public relations (PR) and advertising campaigns, which collectively cost taxpayers more than $1.4 billion every single year.

While these marketing efforts do include legitimate activities, like recruiting for the armed forces and alerting the public to potential health or safety threats, much of it is purely propaganda with little or no value for taxpayers, such as:

These expenditures will haunt taxpayers for years to come.

They also come at the expense of real national priorities. The $1.4 billion spent on government PR and advertising every year, for example, is twice the amount dedicated to breast cancer research. That’s unacceptable, folks.

October Squeal Award: Federal agencies for taxpayer-funded swag

For these reasons, I am awarding my October Squeal Award to the federal agencies that have put a premium on promoting their own public image.

It is also why I have introduced the Stop Wasteful Advertising by the Government Act, or SWAG Act, which would bag the swag and end unnecessary taxpayer-funded propaganda and require these kinds of expenditures to be made transparent and available for public scrutiny.

Do you have an example of government waste or inefficiencies that I should take a look at? Send me an email by clicking here.

Thank you!