Great post by Dr. Russell Roberts over at Cafe Hayek:
“On the same day the Washington Post reports the passing of a $790 billion spending package that includes about $50 billion for so-called infrastructure, it also reports on a Department of Transportation audit of spending on roads:Design and engineering companies helping to build the nation’s highways ran up millions of dollars in inappropriate charges at the expense of taxpayers, including bills for parties, luxury car leases and hefty paychecks for executives, according to auditors.
Among the “unallowable expenses” singled out:$355,767 to pay the personal income taxes of executives.
$301,667 to lease 45 automobiles,
including Mercedes, BMW and other luxury brands.
$247,685 for dinners, tickets to sporting events, theme-holiday parties.
$60,000 paid to a consultant with only a verbal agreement.
$35,352 charged by two firms for “image-enhancing items such as golf shirts.”
The Transportation Department audit, which took four years, examined bills from a sampling of 41 design and engineering firms picked from 3,580 firms that had active contracts with state departments of transportation. Auditors looked at data from 2003 because it was the most current year available when the review began.”