For the Good of Illinois

Real Clear Policy: The $100 Billion Use-It-Or-Lose-It Federal Spending Spree

March 13, 2019 07:30 AM


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The $100 Billion Use-It-Or-Lose-It Federal Spending Spree

By OpenTheBooks | March 13, 2019

The month of September marks the end of the fiscal year and the beginning of the federal government’s annual spending frenzy. Federal agencies scramble to spend what’s left in their budgets, in fear that leaving excess funds will prompt Congress to send less in the following year. We call it "use it or lose it" spending, and it happens every year.
Our latest oversight report on the fiscal year 2018 use-it-or-lose-it spending frenzy quantified $97 billion spent by federal agencies in September. This marks a 16-percent increase from fiscal year 2017 and a 39-percent increase from fiscal year 2015.
In the final seven days of the fiscal year, agencies spent $53 billion – that’s more than they spent in the entire month of August.
In total, 66 agencies participated in the shopping spree. The Department of Defense spent $61.2 billion in September alone, while the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services spent more than $5 billion each. This year’s last-minute transactions purchased fidget spinners, guns and ammunition, office furniture, CrossFit equipment, vehicles, alcohol, musical instruments, lobster tail, and more.
As the national debt surpasses $22 trillion, it’s time to end Washington’s use-it-or-lose-it spending culture.
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Lowell Bowie
Cincinnati, OH
11/7/2019 08:56 AM

  How SBA audit of SCORE found (4) $50,000 bonuses to top officials that was taken because they would "lose it if not spent". I am a Score mentor in Cincinnati and am really mad that they want us to donate to the national orgianzation.

Flagler Beach, FL
10/14/2019 03:26 PM

  Yes, let's get this out there for public consumption!! I'm posting on my facebook account, hope others will too! Term limits and getting rid of this use it or loose it mentally hs got to happen for all of us and the generations to come!!