After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP opened up the checkbook and started writing checks to local governments for “cleanup” and other associated costs. Is anybody at all surprised that these governments wasted the money on corruption and things that had nothing whatsoever to do with the oil spill? I can’t imagine even the most intellectually dishonest argument from a professionally dishonest arguer, say a lawyer, a sociologist, or a professor of semiotics, that could justify this.
Except, naturally, that it seems to be the mission and the justification of government to waste money this year in order to justify raising taxes so government can waste even more money next year. If you have ever worked for a government agency you know exactly what I’m talking about. It happens every year in every agency of every government everywhere: Intentional waste in order to protect next year’s budget.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In the year since the Gulf oil spill, officials along the coast have gone on a spending spree with BP money, dropping tens of millions of dollars on gadgets, vehicles and gear – much of which had little to do with the cleanup, an Associated Press investigation shows.
In sleepy Ocean Springs, Miss., reserve police officers got Tasers. The sewer department in nearby Gulfport bought a $300,000 vacuum truck that never sucked up a drop of oil. Biloxi, Miss., bought a dozen SUVS. A parish president in Louisiana got herself a top-of-the-line iPad, her spokesman a $3,100 laptop. And a county in Florida spent $560,000 on rock concerts to promote its oil-free beaches.
Florida’s tourism agency sent chunks of a $32 million BP grant as far away as Miami-Dade and Broward counties on the state’s east coast, which never saw oil from the disaster.
Some officials also lavished campaign donors and others with lucrative contracts. A Florida county commissioner’s girlfriend, for instance, opened up a public relations firm a few weeks after the spill and soon landed more than $14,000 of the tiny county’s $236,000 cut of BP cash for a month’s work.