Is this a big expenditure in the grand scheme of federal spending? No. But this is an example of federal spending on items that are clearly “wants” and not legitimate “needs.” And that is, in part, why we are $16 trillion in debt, with no end in sight.
Consider the long-standing practice in D.C. of commissioning painted portraits when an official leaves office. Few people probably realize that these portraits are commissioned for heads of agencies and that they can cost tens of thousands of dollars. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently blew almost $40,000 for the portrait of former Administrator Lisa Jackson.
This begs the question: couldn’t they just take a nice photo, have it printed on quality material like canvas, and frame it? Surely this would be less expensive.
Spending other people’s money is oh so easy.