MARK STEYN:: Grope and Change – NRO

By at April 22, 2012 | 12:53 am | Print

MARK STEYN:: Grope and Change – NRO

Unlike the government of the United States, I can’t claim any hands-on experience with Colombian hookers. But I was impressed by the rates charged by Miss Dania Suarez, and even more impressed by the U.S. Secret Service’s response to them.

Cartagena’s most famous “escort” costs $800. For purposes of comparison, you can book Eliot Spitzer’s “escort” for $300. Yet, on the cold grey fiscally conservative morning after the wild socially liberal night before, Dania’s Secret Service agent offered her a mere $28.

Twenty-eight bucks! What a remarkably precise sum. Thirty dollars less a federal handling fee? Why isn’t this guy Obama’s treasury secretary or budget director? Or, at the very least, the head honcho of the General Services Administration, whose previous director has sadly had to step down after the agency’s taxpayer-funded public-servants-gone-wild Bacchanal in Vegas.

All over this dying republic, you couldn’t find a single solitary $28 item that doesn’t wind up costing at least 800 bucks by the time it’s been sluiced through the federal budgeting process. Yet, in one plucky little corner of the Secret Service, supervisor David Chaney, dog-handler Greg Stokes, or one of the other nine agents managed to turn the principles of government procurement on their head. If the same fiscal prudence were applied to the 2011 Obama budget, the $3.598 trillion splurge would have cost just shy of $126 billion. The feds’ half a billion to Solyndra would have been a mere $18 million. The 823-grand GSA conference on government efficiency at the M Resort Spa & Casino would have come in at $28,805.

via Grope and Change – Mark Steyn – National Review Online.

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