The next time a liberal tells you the federal budget is cut to the bone, remember this story — yet another example of the waste and bloat inherent in a massive bureaucracy.
The Drug Enforcement Administration paid an Amtrak employee hundreds of thousands of dollars over two decades to obtain confidential information it could have gotten for free, according to internal investigators at the railroad.
According to a report released Monday by Amtrak’s inspector general, the DEA paid an Amtrak secretary $854,460 to be an informant. The employee was not publicly identified except as a “secretary to a train and engine crew.”
Amtrak’s own police agency is already in a joint drug enforcement task force that includes the DEA. According to the inspector general, that task force can obtain Amtrak confidential passenger reservation information at no cost.
The office of Amtrak Inspector General Tom Howard declined to identify the secretary or say why it took so long to uncover the payments. Howard’s report on the incident suggested policy changes and “other measures to address control weaknesses that Amtrak management is considering.” DEA spokeswoman Dawn Dearden declined to comment.
The more government grows, the more likely it is that we’ll see more and more of this waste.