Department of Veterans Affairs Spent $1 Million on TV Ads During Government Shutdown

Has anyone noticed the government shut down at all, excluding park rangers closing a private business, throwing people out of their homes, prohibiting WWII veterans from visiting the memorial constructed to honor them, prohibiting Vietnam veterans from visiting the memorial constructed to honor their service, closing the ocean in Florida and attempting to keep people from stopping to view Mt. Rushmore? The Department of Veteran Affairs evidently hasn’t noticed or heard about the shutdown as the organization just spent “more than $1 million on television ads running during the shutdown, prompting outrage from the committee responsible for veteran’s issues.”

According to the Daily Caller:

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The expensive TV ads were running while the WWII Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC was closed both to tourists and to veterans due to the government shutdown, and could create a tense environment when a top VA official testifies before Congress Wednesday morning about his agency’s handling of the shutdown.

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“It has come to my attention that during the government shutdown, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has continued to run a costly advertising campaign, including expensive television commercials during National Football League games and Major League baseball playoffs,” said an October 8 letter sent by House Committee on Veteran Affairs chairman Rep. Jeff Miller to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

“According to information received from our initial investigation, it appears that VA spent more than $1 million on television advertisements from September 9th thru October 13th, 2013, in the Washington DC metro area alone,” Miller said in his letter.

Miller demanded “all advertisement contracts, including those for television, radio, internet and print media, that obligate VA funds after September 30, 2013…I request delivery of this information within 30 days.”

The television spot “You served. Let VA serve you” continues to air in various television markets during the shutdown.

department-of-veterans-affairs-va-headquarters-in-washington-dc-photoTo add insult to injury, the VA purchased $562,000 worth of artwork in the week prior to the shutdown and those television ads aired while WWII veterans, along with visitors, were denied access to the open air WWII memorial. If this isn’t enough of a slap in the face, the VA pulled a good punch when it awarded “a $13.8 million contract to the public-relations firm Reingold & Associates for promotional services intended to increase enrollment in VA benefits.”

What a perfect example of extravagant, wasteful spending. Why does the VA need half a million dollars’ worth of artwork? Why are they contracting with a PR firm to promote services? For an agency that needs money to care for the honorable men and women who served our country, it is acting as though our veterans are receiving all the care needed and they have money to blow courtesy of the American taxpayer. If there was that much money left over at the end of the fiscal year to basically light with a match, it should have been spent expanding on services already offered or spent for more veterans to receive needed services.

There needs to be a major audit of the federal government by a respectable, honorable, ethical, honest, trustworthy company to identify the wasteful spending on unnecessary services or items. If the average individual spent their paycheck like the federal government spends money, the individual would go bankrupt in short order. And, that is exactly what is happening to the federal government. The waste and total disregard for rational spending has brought this country to the brink of default, which is bankruptcy.

The blatant irresponsibility of the people voted into office along with the audacious people appointed to head departments is enough to get one’s blood pressure up enough to make their head explode. These officials’ actions regarding fiscal responsibility is akin to being hit with the stupid stick more than once then carrying it around like some kind of trophy.

Now, the Senate is reporting via C-Span the VA will run out of money at the end of the month. Seriously? What official can be so stupid as to announce their agency will run out of money at the end of the month after the reckless spending the agency engaged in during the prior two months?

It seems the qualifications for working in any government agency is an ID-10-T card. There must be an agency set up somewhere to supply those for individuals seeking government employment or department head appointment. Wonder if that’s included in the application process or if those appointees get them from the Democratic Party?

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