Official Washington’s rapid response to the General Services Administration’s billionaire-bachelor-party level of profligacy is welcome, as it goes. However, GSA’s much-maligned, $822,751 team-building extravaganza in Sin City is like a whispered prayer compared to daily life in Washington. Alas, when it comes to partying ’til the money runs out, what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas.
After sacking two subordinates, GSA administrator Martha Johnson appropriately resigned as news emerged about her agency’s now notorious 2010 Las Vegas junket. At least five other GSA employees have resigned or been suspended or fired. Its taxpayer-funded decadence included $6,325 for commemorative coins, a $7,000 sushi bar, a $31,208 “networking reception,” a $75,000 bicycle-building exercise, and six location-scouting trips that cost $130,000. Before receiving “yearbooks” as parting gifts (price: $8,130), participants marveled at the taxpayer-funded services of a psychic and a clown.
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