Our federal government spends $1.5 billion each year on public relations for its various departments.
This was determined by a September 2016 Government Accountability Office report commissioned by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), who also serves as the Senate Budget Committee chairman. Of 10 governmental departments assessed, the Department of Defense was responsible for 60 percent of these total obligations. Here’s more from the GAO:
Federal obligations for advertising and public relations contracts have, on average, been close to $1 billion annually over the past decade, ranging from a low of about $800 million in fiscal year 2012 to a high of about $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2009, according to FPDS-NG data. Obligations for these contracts are concentrated among a few agencies, with 10 agencies responsible for 95 percent of these obligations over the past ten years. The Department of Defense (DOD), which is responsible for over 60 percent of total obligations for these contracts, has driven changes in overall spending. Although advertising and public relations contracts data provide an indication of the magnitude of federal spending on public relations activities, they do not capture the full scope of these activities.
“With increasing pressures on limited federal resources, it is crucial to know how much is spent across the federal government on public relations activities and which federal agencies are spending the most,” Enzi said in a statement last fall.
This comes as no surprise. The Obama years epitomized the era of big government, so this bloat and waste is not surprising. Even more egregious is the fact that American views of the federal government are so unpopular, yet government officials and their staff continue to perpetuate the status quo.
President-elect Donald J. Trump has pledged to “Drain the Swamp” repeatedly. Will he manage to do so? Time will tell. Regardless, Congressional Republicans have a mandate to govern and vote conservatively. No more excuses, no more voting for increased spending measures – start doing the job expected of you.
Exciting times ahead in the 115th Congress! Get the popcorn ready.