Hollywood and Washington: Both entertaining, often boring and far too often irresponsible.
Midterm elections will bring out Hollywood celebrities supporting lots of glad-handing politicians, attracting the least informed voters: the People/US/Entertainment Weekly crowd.
And rightfully so. While some in Hollywood and D.C. strive for financial responsibility, there are those who have no understanding of the concept.
M.C. Hammer blew $33 million on helicopters, parties and an entourage, not knowing fuel and repairs are pretty expensive while employees are usually the largest expenditure on every balance sheet. We spent $1.4 billion on the Obamas in 2012 alone. Yup, people and their transportation can be pricey.
Remember Kim Basinger buying a small town in Georgia? She went bankrupt four years later. When Joe Biden went all swanky and upscale to London and Paris, the bill was for over a million dollars. At least Basinger owned something for a while. Joe and his entourage only spent one night in Paris for over $500,000. Perhaps MC Hammer has a new consulting job with the Vice President.
Nicolas Cage went all “GSA-in-Vegas,” buying 15 homes, including two castles, a couple of mansions and the ever-so-necessary Malibu beach house. And to think the Government Services Agency only wasted about a million dollars on their lavish Las Vegas “conference,” including penthouse suites, a mind reader, a clown, a bicycle training exercise and expensive catering. The GSA went through over a third of a million dollars, taking in Hawaii sunshine for five days in order to attend a one-hour ribbon-cutting, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals spent a million dollars in Hawaii because, well, gosh, they’re judges and they really, really need to go to Hawaii for their conference during a recession. Compared to Mr. Cage, those government folk sure are frugal!
Gary Busey is just nuts, so of course he spent all of his millions, didn’t pay taxes and didn’t think about the future. See: Congressional Democrats and Republican John Boehner.
Billy Joel had a lousy money manager (ala Senator and Governor Jon Corzine) who mismanaged 90 million of his dollars into dust. Big deal. We, the taxpayers, buried seven billion dollars’ worth of military equipment in the Afghan sand because, well, even though it’s perfectly good and useful, it’s really heavy and it might cost as much as a congressional junket to bring it back.
You’re starting to see the similarities, right?
At least when President Bush went to his ranch he only needed a few Secret Service and doughnuts for the Code Pink ladies.
We expect a few relatively inexpensive tubs of lard in the pork barrel like a $98,000 outhouse on a deserted Alaskan trail, a million dollar heated bus stop in Arlington, Virginia that fails to keep people warm, ten grand for “utility pole performance art,” $335,000 for a study that shows couples are happier after an argument when the woman calms down (duh), and a million dollars for a stack of flat rocks called “art” at an embassy.
What we should not accept is electing or re-electing people who think it’s perfectly reasonable to spend $2.6 million of your money on teaching Chinese prostitutes how to drink responsibly or send a group of federal government employees connected with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force to enjoy a trip to St. Croix, courtesy of taxpayers, that auditors can’t decipher because the cost has been shifted around to many different agencies.
It’s not just these behaviors but this kind of thinking that has us over $17 trillion in debt.
Rick Jensen is Delaware’s Award-Winning Conservative Talk Show Host on 1150AM WDEL and 93.7FM HD3, Streaming live on WDEL.com from 1pm - 4pm EST. Contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @Jensen1150WDEL.