The pattern of federal agencies spending recklessly at the end of the fiscal year so they use up their whole budgets was the topic of a post here earlier. Now the Washington Post has a wonderful article with even more examples:
This past week, the Department of Veterans Affairs bought $562,000 worth of artwork.
And, in a single purchase, the Coast Guard spent $178,000 on "Cubicle Furniture Rehab."....
In 2010, for instance, the Internal Revenue Service had millions left over in an account to hire new personnel. The money would expire at year's end. Its solution was not a smart one.
The IRS spent the money on a lavish conference. Which included a "Star Trek" parody video starring IRS managers. Which was filmed on a "Star Trek" set that the IRS paid to build. (Sample dialogue: "We've received a distress call from the planet NoTax.")
No doubt some of this nonsense goes on at year-end in the private sector, as well. But doing it with money borrowed from China or from future generations or taken by citizens through force by taxation seems particularly grating.