Editor's note: Matt Welch is Editor in Chief of Reason, and co-author (along with Nick Gillespie) of "The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America."
(CNN) - Have you heard the one about the Justice Department's $16 muffins? Probably not, though even if you have, this latest revelation of workaday government waste has long since lost its capacity to shock. And therein lies the real problem.
For those catching up: The DOJ's OIG (Office of Inspector General) Tuesday released an audit showing that the department spent nearly $500,000 for food and beverages at just 10 Justice-sponsored conferences in 2008 and 2009.
"One conference," auditors found, "served $16 muffins while another served Beef Wellington hors d'oeuvres that cost $7.32 per serving. Coffee and tea at the events cost between $0.62 and $1.03 an ounce. At the $1.03 per-ounce price, an 8-ounce cup of coffee would have cost $8.24."
Read Why the $16 muffin is no joke
Except it did NOT happen that way... Apparently, other breakfast food costs were lumped into the muffin category and made it appear on the invoice that muffins cost $16. Maybe a little research on this topic would be nice before we go spewing faux populism. Here is a link to the REAL story: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/09/22/325810/grassley-heads-roll-muffin-scandal/
Just wondering if the conferences were the Judges Conferences or the Circuit Executives Conferences or another departments conference? There are federal rules governing the funding for the conferences. So while the "Need to Know" factor is great, shouldn't the "Need to Get All the Facts" ethos be greater?
And Uncle Sam continues to fail us in every way. No, I'm not shocked.
A muffin can be very filling...
Obviously they overlooked the cost of the pink tacos given to the large Hispanic attendees.
you totally crack me up...
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