Tracking Federal Waste and Fraud
Chris Stirewalt and Congressman Denham discuss government waste.
- Duration 8:40
- Date Apr 24, 2012
Chris Stirewalt and Congressman Denham discuss government waste.
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Is the picture that launched a thousand Internet jokes that is a picture.
The western supervisor for the General Services Administration sitting with an enormous gold chain around his neck in a hot tub.
Funny taxpayer funded trip to check out the location.
-- -- a bash for the GSA that would eventually cost more than 800000 dollars.
And bring the full force of congress crashing down.
Around the ears of that agency and this is power play welcome back Internet.
And certainly this GSA issue has -- a big big discussion about tracking waste fraud and abuse and we are very fortunate in that we have one of the congressman.
Who was part of the analyst welcome lot of us who was putting it to the GSA folks when you heard it all through last week.
Welcome Jeff down he's a congressman from California represents a beautiful -- a very beautiful part.
Of his state in this country about you send national park welcome.
Thank you thanks for having me and you must be sorry every -- here in Washington now where you're from because that's a beautiful place in the world I salute mr.
citizens are here yet this is nice stuff OK so you guys are pretty rough on the boys from the GSA.
You you gave them a tough time.
Let's start with this what was the most revealing thing to you after all of these -- all of this.
Questioning and all of this stuff -- pleading the fifth -- excuses and everything what was your take away give us your synopsis.
That's what we're afraid of -- this -- -- culture was that not only within GSA but would -- the administration altogether there they're try to cover this up.
This is something that went on for a year and a half after the investigation went through so.
You know our audit showed these nine trips just leading up to Vegas and certainly the Vegas vacation -- they took.
And a gambling money they gave out all their employees was.
And I actually gave money to deal with which to gamble they gave up bonuses cash bonuses would show we can only assume what they do with these -- bonuses this kind of unheard of that.
You ever give a test bonus on a Vegas junket I didn't.
But they did did.
I think the most my feeling -- the -- of money I'm sorry I missed this to this point they gave them envelopes.
While they were at a casino in -- Yes they give out bonuses they -- out they had -- -- -- program where they gave iPods and different gifts I mean.
This was not only eight -- that was extraordinary but the junkets and they got while there was also extraordinary.
And but I would say the most revealing thing he came out of this was deputy inspector -- there.
Did their audit came -- with there overview and you recommendations that it stop the spending.
We're investigating this would now in the past launched several investigations to stop what you don't.
Does -- a year and a half ago.
And so all these -- get going on the -- kept coming in and saying.
No more trips don't take this seventeen day trip with your wife don't do the 21 birthday party with -- -- these big -- And they continue to not in fact they continued on even this year in February march they continued these trips on.
And nobody was fired until after we said we're we -- -- hearing.
So the debate -- throughout all of this of course and this is something we're used to historically the debate between Republicans Democrats basically comes down to.
Democrats who say.
These are a small group of bad apples that.
By and large the system works and it's good and -- it shows that the system works that were rooting out this these bad things.
The Republican argument in this has been -- and I'm hearing from you now.
That this is evidence of why.
The government shouldn't do more things because this kind of thing is inherent to the system it will always happen and that this is this is what happens when you have.
You know 121000 people living inside -- bureaucracy that's just gonna happen.
Is that about it is that it in my sizing up right.
Well I responsibly if you think this is really a few bad apples and you should not be afraid of more transparency why not show the annual budget of this agency every single year meeting of a slush fund of money all the money he gets paid by every.
Agency every department the rest of federal building.
Billions of dollars to go into this slush fund this is outside of congress is outside of the budget process is outside of -- the president.
And it just sits there and allows them to spend money as they see fit well.
It has a few bad apples want to share with the American public why not show the taxpayer where their dollars -- -- So the money that they get in revenue from the lands that the federal government holds GSA just needs to put some wise yes they've put -- -- -- is supposed to be used -- Redeveloping these properties for selling off these properties this -- -- whole reason I feel that we should always GSA altogether I mean if this money is set to liquidating properties and out of the 141000.
-- -- clear excess and unneeded properties sitting vacant.
They sold 82 in a decade.
I think private industry to do much better I think the realtors around the country could do much better job at no expense or very little expense rather have this let's find out there.
You no doubt there's no doubt they'd like to have the chance to try.
See I was too focused Internet on the guys gold chain and that whatever that drink was that he had back there I miss this stuff about the cash bonuses and I miss this stuff about the slush funds -- That's how we all get distracted.
By those that these bright shiny object.
I know there is an NA surprising moment of bipartisanship.
In congress discussion about a new measure that could be taken to increase transparency not just in GSA in terms of reporting across the board did the chairman of the house oversight committee and his democratic counterpart.
Both -- this decision be -- tell us about what that is.
Well certainly we via a top to bottom approach throughout all of government should not be any reason that we can have more transparency and it should be bipartisan across every agency.
Look this up potted his has also shown.
Just -- it sets the standard.
For every other agency.
And so we want to see every agency on how they're spending money what -- of conferences are going on and do they actually follow.
These few bad apples that set the standard for everybody else -- they set the standard for other bad apples and every other agency.
Now we still will have another hearing that we're going to have we still have several investigations are going on we expect to find more.
Not only -- in this one region -- but within all of GSA.
And we're looking at introducing.
Transparency issues on this special -- on that they have as well so -- -- to see many things coming out of congress over the next couple weeks.
Hopefully most of them if not all of our bipartisan.
This is something that double parties should be focused on getting rid of this -- getting rid of the corruption and fraud.
And certainly holding the administration accountable where people should be fired for people are breaking the law that should not be a partisan issue in this president should.
Hold people accountable.
Well congressman out of your -- mock tank I couldn't agree with you more it's easy to stop stupid put every penny spent and where it went online and every -- for everything right absolutely the more -- that are on the problem.
The sooner we are likely to catch fraud right yes Coca.
There -- -- break in the low or they're breaking the administration's own rules we should hold him accountable to meet.
These are people that the president has handpicked and avoided some of which have gone through the confirmation process.
And when the president sends out directives that there will be no more.
Pay increases there will be no more bonuses.
An agency goes out does it anyways I hold the president accountable because he's hired people that are calling his own executive order.
He knows where the buck stops congressman thank you very much of -- you get back out to be a beautiful part of the country soon.
Internet we have to go but two points of good news one on the hunt -- Jonathan Hunt is waiting for you on the other side of this.
And now as we like to do every day we want to leave you with them.
Heard from our friend Charles.
The numbers today talk about the the difficulty of income and programs in terms of years but for more accurate way I think.
I think you can look at -- this how much is being spent every year and how much is coming here.
Shells out 560 billion dollars every year.
It covers less than half of that -- premiums.
And -- taxation.
So more than half of that he comes from the treasure luge of course as you know.
Money of its own.
That money comes from China every year almost 300 billion dollars every year adds to the deficit that's a quarter of the entire deficit -- -- Medicare.