THE CAVIAR CROWD Sometimes government bureaucrats do things that just make you ask "What were they thinking?"
Excessive Government Spending
Here is a news update from Taxpayers for Common Sense. TCS is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending, corruption and corporate welfare.
The Earth Summit going on this week in Johannesburg is the perfect illustration of this. Bigwig politicians are gathering in posh accommodations to discuss famine and poverty while they dine on lobster and caviar washed down with expensive champagne and liquor. To add insult to injury, taxpayers around the world will foot the bill for this lavish conference.
It is in poor taste for bureaucrats to fatten their faces when famine rates are skyrocketing and millions of our world's children go to bed hungry every night. Even most of the world's wealthier residents would consider lobster, caviar, and champagne to be items which are brought out when there is cause for celebration. Are we to think that famine and poverty are a celebratory cause? To be fair, some conference participants refused the bountiful perks. However, those who did not should be ashamed of themselves.
Conference delegates only have to look out their proverbial front door to see how out-of-touch they have become. An example of the people whose livelihood the conference participants are supposedly working to improve is just a stone's throw away from the conference site. Should any of the delegates happen to stray from the surroundings of five-star hotels and upscale shopping malls, they will be confronted with the very real sight of families living in one room homes made of corrugated iron and shantytowns where children spend their days waiting in line for water from a single tap that is shared by thousands of residents.
The chef of the five-star hotel where many of the conference delegates are staying has been quoted as saying, "Money is no object." This extravagant attitude will bring the total cost for the conference to estimates of as much as $50 million. To put this amount in perspective, about one-fifth of the world's population - over a billion people – currently live on less than one dollar a day. Lavish behavior has absolutely no place at any event that is paid for by taxpayers.
Federal officials attending opulent conferences on the taxpayers' dime is the type of activity that makes citizens lose faith in government. Actions are more powerful than words, and the actions of conference delegates bring into question the sincerity of government officials' desires to put an end to the hunger and poverty that plague our world.
In "To Kill a Mockingbird," Atticus Finch stated, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." To prove that they really are serious about the world's problems, conference delegates would gain credibility by sitting down to a simple meal that is similar to what the world's hungry eat on a daily basis. Maybe after this meal, they would act more sensibly when attempting to solve world hunger.
This week, Taxpayers for Common Sense joined with the National Taxpayers Union, the Congressional Accountability Project, and Citizens Against Government Waste to issue a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell, asking him to denounce this outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars. If federal officials want taxpayers to have faith in their commitment to prioritizing spending, they need to stop living high on the hog at our expense.
For more information, contact Keith Ashdown at (202)-546-8500 ext. 110
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
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