One out of every nine dollars spent by the federal government occurs in just the last seven days of the fiscal year, according to Adam Andrzejewski of Openthebooks.com, a government watchdog group.
“When the bureaucrats cannot even spend all the money that Congress is sending them, there's a problem,” Andrzejewski said.
We looked at spending in the nearly two months since the fiscal year ended. So far in October and November, only two contracts were issued for gym equipment, totaling $20,000. That is compared to the more than $6.2 million dollars spent the month before.
Openthebooks.com has been tracking government purchases as well. They placed an ad in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal listing more than one hundred examples of wasteful federal spending. Last year, they found thousands of dollars in year-end spending specifically on fidget spinners, liquor and wine.
“We identified in the last fiscal year that $50 billion dollars of contract spending went out the door in the last 7 days of the fiscal year,” Andrzejewski said.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, introduced a bill that would award bonuses to federal employees who cut budgets. We first reported on that legislation two years ago, and so far it has gone nowhere.
We asked the Defense Department why they needed these purchases in a short period of time, and they referred us to individual branches of service. The Army, the largest spender among the military, has not yet responded to our questions.