December 10, 2015

Your Government Spends Billions Convincing You to Let It Spend More of Your Money

For example, a new report from watchdog group details how the federal government spends $4.34 billion on public relations.
“Taxpayers might be surprised to know that the federal government is the second-largest public relations firm in the world,” founder and report author Adam Andrzejewski observes. “Our nation’s 3,092 federal public affairs officers have perfected the art of advancing an agency’s interests – often for more dollars and higher salaries – ahead of the public interest.”
The report, entitled The Department of Self-Promotion: How Federal Agency P.R. Spending Advances Their Interests Rather Than the Public Interest, offers plenty of examples, gleaned from government financial reports covering the years 2007 through 2014. If civics classes ever get around to teaching the vitally important lesson thatgovernment itself is the biggest, baddest “special interest” in America, Andrzejewski’s work can serve as one of their textbooks.
The federal government has spent over $190 million on surveys and polls since 2007, for example, creating what the report describes as a “vast data mining operation that collects all sorts of minutia information on citizens, society, personal behaviors, group behaviors, and business behaviors.” Much of this work is contracted out at exorbitant rates, with one company billing the IRS $69.88 per hour for an “injured spouse satisfaction survey.” That means taxpayers effectively paid each of the company’s “junior survey statisticians” over $145,000 per year.

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