Can I Make Muffins and Cookies for the Justice Department?

COMMENTARY | Well, we have all heard about the wasteful spending happening in Washington that has contributed to our debt, but the most recent findings released from Sen. Chuck Grassley from Iowa have me just amazed and considering a career in the baking industry. Hey, I can make muffins, cookies and brownies, and if Washington wants to pay me the big bucks to do it, I am all over that.

According to a report coming from the Los Angeles Times, Sen. Grassley revealed information from a Justice Department inspector general audit that found the agency had been spending a little too much when it came to conferences. Apparently if it didn’t come from their wallets but our taxpayer dollars, then the sky was the limit.

The audit found that when it came to these conferences, the average cost for a muffin was $16. Now that had better have been either the world’s biggest muffin or sprinkled with gold dust; for $16, you can make a LOT of muffins. But it gets worse. The audit also found that the average cup of coffee consumed at these conferences was as much as $8 for a small 8 ounce serving. Well let me tell you, even with my espresso machine, I can make a top of the line cup of coffee for a lot less than that. I guess the price at Starbucks really isn’t that high.

According to the report, however, this is not happening now. This wasteful spending occurred with the previous administration, when there were no strict limits on how much was spent for food and beverages. OK, now here is my problem. Why were there no strict limits on the costs of food and beverages? Any business is given a set budget for a conference or company event, yet our government can spend as much as it wants for a little get-together? For example, a 2009 conference in Washington served up 250 muffins for $4,200 and 200 cookies and brownies for $2,880.

I think, in reading this report, maybe I will offer up my services for making cookies and brownies in the future. But I guess in reality I wouldn’t be making any money because it would be my tax dollars paying for them in the first place.

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