Irony in government

It’s not hard to find. What’s the latest example? The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which was created to promote deficit reduction, is seeking a bigger budget.

Think about that for a second.

Unfortunately, it seems they may actually have valid grounds for their requests.

But despite the weighty demands, the panel has only a fraction of the staff and budget of standing congressional committees.

So, congressional committees, whose members salaries are already paid out of a separate budget, have significantly larger staffs and budgets. This tells us that the congressional committees have budgets that are far too large, the Commission is seriously underfunded, or that both cases are true. Personally, my opinion is that both are true. Standing committees seem to be especially prone to the kind of empire building and privilege wars that result in seriously inflated budgets and extraneous staff. I also don’t doubt that those same empire builders would work to ensure that a Commission like this doesn’t get the budget needed to do it’s job effectively. In fact…

The White House has set aside the resources to provide the equivalent of four full-time salaries and $500,000 in operating costs for the commission, fiscal commission Executive Director Bruce Reed told Tax Analysts.

Four people and half a million dollars to analyze the entire federal budget in less than one year? I’d be surprised if that budget could rent the office space they would need, much less get them the computers, copiers, and other equipment necessary for any kind of effective analysis.

It makes me think that maybe the Commission was meant as nothing more than window dressing, to make it look like Obama was trying to reduce deficits, and wasn’t actually meant to come up with a productive analysis or recommendations.

(h/t SayUncle)

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