REWARDING POLITICAL HACKS The Bush administration's decision to restore a corrupt policy of handing out taxpayer money to high-salary political appointees -- with cash bonuses of up to $25,000 -- is certainly an eyebrow-raiser. It has to make the majority of hard-working taxpayers wonder whether the current government officials are playing with a full deck.
New Scandal: Bush Administration Caught Giving Cash
Here is a news update from Taxpayers for Common Sense. TCS is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending, corruption and corporate welfare.
Doling out cash bonuses to senior political officials was a long-standing "bipartisan" practice that was prohibited in 1994 after the first President Bush abused the system. On his way out the door of the Oval Office, he handed out big bonuses to appointees. The biggest concern was that such a policy is highly subject to abuse where appointed officials who toe the political line are favored over hardworking career civil servants.
According to the White House, bringing the discredited system back is an effort to create a more results-oriented government. On the one hand, it makes sense that the administration would want to reward senior officials who go above and beyond the call of duty by contributing to government effectiveness or efficiency and hopefully saving federal tax dollars. However, the Justice department's policy of rewarding officials who "contribute directly to achieving the President's and the Attorney General's national goals and objectives" looks more like a litmus test of loyalty than anything else.
About 2100 political appointees, many of whom earn salaries between $115,000 and $140,000 are now eligible to receive these cash bonuses of $10,000 or more. Although the decision to make these handouts was initially made in March, it was kept under wraps until after the November elections. This week it was publicized on the heels of the administration's decision to cut by 25 percent, a planned pay increase for 1.8 million federal employees.
Decisions like this affect the way that hard-working Americans view government. Let's get real! The government is in financial disarray with rapidly growing budget deficits and most agencies are incapable of passing a simple audit. Floating a boat of cash bonuses across this sea of budgetary red ink is as stupid as giving Enron accountants a cash bonus right after their company filed for Chapter 11.
Stuffing the Christmas stockings of the political elite sends the wrong message to taxpayers. Political appointees are most often given their positions as a reward for helping to get their boss elected. Moreover, the prestige and connections that come with political appointments typically reap even greater rewards when officials move on to the private sector. Further rewarding political lackeys with cash bonuses reeks of cronyism.
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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