Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How Many Limos Does the Government Need?

I don't know. How many have they got?

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According to General Services Administration data, the number of limousines in the federal fleet increased by 73 percent, up from 238 in 2008 to 412 in 2010

In tough economic times, it's good to know that the federal government is making do with only 73% more limos than they had in 2008!

And what makes it worse, is the GSA is either not competent enough or honest enough to admit how many. The GSA "cannot say that its report accurately reflects the number of limousines" because "the categories in the Fleet Report are overly broad, and the term 'limousine' is not defined." What a relief! I thought these people were responsible for taking care of public property! Turns out, they can't even identify it!

Is it a limo? All depends on what you definition of "is" is.

And who is it who needs all these extra limos? Hillary's State Department scored the most new limos.

The State Department's 259 limos surpassed every other agency's limo stash in 2010, and the department has gained 194 limos since fiscal year 2008. Of the new 194, 98 were defined as "law enforcement".

And you can see how visiting dignitaries might need to be chauffeured around. But 259? And, law enforcement? 98 limos for "law enforcement"? Boy, that sure sounds like the best use of government funds!

The VA, which once owned 21 limos under George W. Bush in 2008, now sports only one. Similarly, the Government Printing Office went from six to none between 2009 and 2010.

I can see the VA doing with fewer than 21 limos. I can certainly see the Government Printing Office not needing any limos at all. But while these two departments were slimming down, too much of the rest of the government was bulking up.

Unless the GAO wants to be seen as the Keystone Kops of property management, they should be able to accurately identify anything in the government's inventory.

In a time of crushing government debt and lip service to lighter, more energy efficient cars for all of us, the government should be taking the lead in fiscal responsibility and setting an example for the rest of us to follow. And, maybe see if bacon can be harvested from all those flying pigs?

Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.

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