By New York Post Editorial Board
While Congress is busy playing musical chairs with the House speaker’s position, the government is flushing taxpayer dollars down the drain by the billions: Over the past few years, a new report found, federal agencies shelled out a whopping $3.3 billion on . . . office furniture.
Even as the pandemic had most government staffers working from home, with absolutely no need for new office furniture.
Will Congress ever focus on its real job — like ending budget waste and getting spending under control?
From 2020 to 2022, OpenTheBooks.com found, the federal government splurged on everything from solar-paneled picnic tables to Ethan Allen leather recliners, ringing up charges of more than $1 billion a year.
Yet agencies were largely vacant during that time: The Pentagon, which spent $1.2 billion on furniture (even as military equipment runs dry), used just 23% of its space.
Office space at the Department of Transportation ($55 million) and General Services Administration ($308 million) was more than 90% empty.
Look: Federal spending has been fueling staggering deficits — $2 trillion for the fiscal year that ended last month — leading to runaway debt and record inflation.
Yet with COVID raging and much of the economy locked down, inflation-adjusted federal revenue fell; if ever there was a time to curb wasteful spending, that was it.
Scrutinizing such outlays is precisely the job of Congress; it holds the government’s purse strings and could stop the hemorrhaging if it so chose, yet it’s too busy indulging in pointless palace intrigue.
Yes, Republicans have tried to lower the bottom line, with President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats blocking them all the way.
(Biden actually demanded a boost in the debt-ceiling with absolutely no restraints on spending.)
But this week, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and fellow rebels decided to boot their leader, Kevin McCarthy, from the speaker’s position for no good reason — leaving the post vacant — rather than focus on this issue.
Now their party may be spending weeks trying to pick a new leader, and getting nothing else done in the meantime.