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FISCAL INSANITY: US government spends billions convincing Americans to support more government spending

U.S. government

(NaturalNews) If the founding fathers were to return to their progeny somehow, they would find an unrecognizable country.

Some of the changes implemented since they fought a successful rebellion against the world's preeminent military power of the day would likely be applauded by them: Women's suffrage and legal equality among the ethnic groups just two of them.

But the size and scope and raw power of the federal government would undoubtedly shock them and offend their consciences, especially the tremendous amount of private property confiscated from American citizens by Washington every year in the form of confiscatory taxation. And then, too, the expensive, authoritarian manner in which the government compels Americans to conform with its mandates, like them or not.

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical," Thomas Jefferson once wrote, as quoted by Breitbart News' John Hayward, who continued:

Those crazy old powdered-wig guys had some funny ideas, didn't they? Today the federal government is largely dedicated to compelling men and women to subsidize ideas they disbelieve and abhor. The Founders thought the people should shape their government, but today the government spends billions shaping its people (and importing new ones, when the existing populace proves resistant to "change.")

All interests represented – except those of the American people

As noted in a recently released report, The Department of Self-Promotion: How Federal Agency PR Spending Advances Their Interests Rather Than the Public Interest, from OpenTheBooks.com, Uncle Sam has a massive operation.

"Taxpayers might be surprised to know that the federal government is the second-largest public relations firm in the world," OpenTheBooks.com founder and report author Adam Andrzejewski noted. "Our nation's 3,092 federal public affairs officers have perfected the art of advancing an agency's interests – often for more dollars and higher salaries – ahead of the public interest."

The report contains a plethora of examples cited from government financial reports for the period of 2007–2014. As Hayward wrote, "If civics classes ever get around to teaching the vitally important lesson that government itself is the biggest, baddest 'special interest' in America, Andrzejewski's work can serve as one of their textbooks."

There are 10 specifics gleaned from the report:

1. During the period of time studied, the federal government spent $4.34 billion on public relations, a not-so-small fortune.

2. The government's spending and scope of PR operations makes it the second-largest public relations firm in the world (based also on the number of PR employees.

3. There were 3,092 federal "Public Affairs Officers" employed by over 200 federal agencies in fiscal year 2014.

4. Fully "1,858 'Public Affairs Officers' made at least $100,000 in base salary compensation in FY2014."

5. "Salaries totaling $2.337 billion and 'performance bonuses' totaling $10.929 million flowed to public affairs officers (FY2007-FY2014). The highest bonus was $35,940 to John T. Burklow at Department of Health and Human Services in 2012."

6. "Since 2007, PR positions increased in the federal government by 15 percent - an addition of 402 positions – from 2,688 to 3,092. Total PR salary spending by year increased by 22.4 percent despite a long period of freeze and sequester in federal hiring."

7. Some "$2.02 billion [was] spent by 139 federal agencies with 2,403 outside PR vendors on 16,249 individual transactions since 2007 - despite 3,092 federal PR employees."

8. There was a "47 percent increase in outside PR consulting expenditures under the Obama administration vs. the last two years under the Bush administration."

9. "Top PR firms in the world reaped millions of dollars: Laughlin, Marinaccio & Owens, Inc. ($87.98M), Young & Rubicam Inc. ($57.5M), Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Inc. ($47.93M), Fleishman-Hillard, Inc ($42.4M), Gallup ($42.0M), and many more.

10. "$183,581 (per year) billing by Ketchum ($88/hour, $15,298/month) for 'Intern.' $1.192 million (per year) billing by Booz Allen Hamilton ($525.67/hour, $91,107/month) for 'Executive Manager' – examples of billing rates per their respective federal advertising contracts."

[Ketchum, by the way, is the PR firm of choice for biotech corporations such as Monsanto and Syngenta, uses paid scientists to push a corporate point of view, and until recently also produced propaganda for the Russian government – see TruthWiki].





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