Stop Spend It or Lose It

More than $11,000 for a “happiness expert,” $17,000 for an artist to paint portraits of Michael Jordan and Bono, and over $60,000 for bad video parodies of “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island.”

Why did this wasteful spending on lavish conferences for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) bureaucrats get approved?

Spend it or lose it.

“Spend it or lose it” is the pervasive practice within federal agencies to use up every last dollar within their budgets by the end of each fiscal year in the hope of getting an even bigger budget the following year.

When testifying to Congress about the outrageous conference spending, acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel acknowledged that the scramble to spend taxpayer funds before they lapse is a “major problem.” But “spend it or lose it” isn’t just confined to the IRS.

As Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., notes, “The IRS is just one example of what’s going on in every agency in the country in the federal government when they’ve got money at the end of a fiscal year and they don’t want to lose it, so you use it.”

To learn more, check out fact sheet and this chart of federal spending by week.

But how do we fix the “spend it or lose” it problem?

We must demand Congress and President Obama provide greater accountability, transparency and oversight into the year-end federal budget process. Enter your zip code below to send a petition to your lawmakers urging them to stop “spend it or lose it!”

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