"ONE OF THEIR OWN" is the second article.
NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
World Wide Web: http://www.LP.org
For release: August 20, 2001
For additional information:
George Getz, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
Federal workers are in a credit card
spending frenzy (and you're paying)
WASHINGTON, DC -- Bad news for American taxpayers: Thousands of
government employees have been going on credit-card shopping sprees,
buying everything from pornography and vacations to jewelry and pet
supplies -- and sending you the bill.
"Who says government workers don't get any credit?" said Libertarian
Party National Director Steve Dasbach. "Unfortunately, they get plenty
of it -- and they're sending us their credit card bills.
"New revelations about the growing abuse of government credit cards
proves there may be nothing more frightening than federal workers with
the power to say, 'Charge it!' "
Last week, the General Accounting Office in Washington, DC acknowledged
there had been a "significant breakdown" in monitoring the abuse of
credit cards by federal employees.
The problem is especially significant, said the GAO, because federal
employees are carrying more than 3.1 million government-issued charge
cards -- and are using them to spend up to $19 billion a year.
The cards, designed to give federal employees more flexibility when
making official purchases, have been used for a staggering array of
personal expenses, according to the GAO and other government watchdog
groups. Examples include:
* Pornographic materials, purchased over the Internet by credit-card
wielding Education Department employees. The department's chief
inspector, Lorraine Lewis, also admitted that employees had used the
cards to buy personal computers.
* Tickets to a Broadway show by an employee at the Department of
* Family vacations, charged by employees of the Corporation for
National and Community Service. One worker racked up $22,442 in bills
for family fun.
* Eyeglasses, jewelry, and pet supplies.
* An astonishing $500,000 in "personal" expenses by one employee in
U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles.
And even when the charges are for legitimate government use,
bureaucrats appear to have a growing problem with actually paying their
bills: At the Pentagon alone, 40,000 federal employees have defaulted
on more than $53 million in travel charges.
If those examples aren't shocking enough, the problem may get even
worse in the future: Charges on government credit cards have increased
28% since 1999 -- and are growing every year, according to the GAO.
Even more worrisome: Fifteen federal agencies now have more than one
card per employee, according to the GOA, and security for the cards
seems to be extremely lax. For example:
* Two agencies -- the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the
Securities and Exchange Commission -- each have more than twice as many
credit cards as employees.
* Even former employees at the Internal Revenue Service have access
credit cards, according to the Treasury Inspector General.
* Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel hold a whopping 1.6 million
credit cards; while the Agriculture Department has 157,752 and the
Transportation Department has 119,465.
Given all these problems, it's past time to take these credit cards
of the hands of financially out-of-control federal workers, said
"We need to cut up these government credit cards and put an end to
these plastic-fueled shopping sprees by federal spendthrifts -- before
taxpayers wind up in the poorhouse," he said.
ONE OF THEIR OWN!
Subject: LP RELEASE: Noelle Bush's drug problem