COMMENTARY | Videos of General Services Agency staffers partying on the taxpayers' dime continues to astonish viewers. The agency announced earlier this week that another Las Vegas conference scheduled for later this month has been canceled, the Washington Post reports.
Taxpayers are anxiously awaiting answers about the lavish spending and abuse of public trust at the now-notorious Las Vegas conference. The growing scandal will be a major stumbling block for President Barack Obama as he travels around the country blaming Republicans for all the nation's ills. Raising taxes will do nothing to correct the growing deficit as long as liberals refuse to adhere to any type of fiscal restraint.
The announcement the GSA will not be returning to the scene of the crime for the eco-friendly conference offers little solace to livid taxpayers. Firing eight upper-level GSA employees does not absolve the agency or the Obama administration from blame. Agency staffers who knowingly broke federal guidelines and misspent money should be required to repay the cost of the clowns, fortune tellers, prizes and lodging amenities which exceeded federal guidelines.
Earlier this week GSA head Dan Tangherlini flipped through a list of rules the Las Vegas conference violated during a CNN interview, including the formal "rules of common sense" clause. Sad though it is that common sense must be mandated for public employees, it is even more depressing that agency staffers could not follow the simple guidelines for good manners and honesty that are typically learned during kindergarten.
Hopefully, Congress will require GSA staffers to return the iPods and digital cameras presented as service rewards during the conference. Taxpayer money should never be used to purchase gifts for employees.
The public employees should be ashamed of themselves for making the videos which joke about the excessive spending at the conference. They were obviously not afraid of how the agency director would react since the videos would be played during the conference talent show. GSA Deputy Commissioner of Public Buildings and Service appeared in the video which joked about the $823,000 taxpayer funded conference, the Washington Post reports. Foley was also in charge of managing $5.5 billion worth of stimulus projects. Foley clearly demonstrated a lack of respect for the taxpayers by participating in the video. It is doubtful that he took any more pride in his work while managing stimulus projects.