Wasteful agencies should feel pain of cuts

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We weren’t too surprised by the announcement that there would be no military jets or crews at this year’s Denton Airshow.

Reports about federal sequestration and its effects had warned us that the fallout had grounded military jets for several air shows, so a similar result was to be expected here.

“Before the sequestration took place, we did receive word that we were to have the F-18 [fighter jet] come in, but when they stopped all the military teams from going to air shows, that was pulled, as it was at every other show,” said Amanda Addington, marketing director with Denton AirFair Inc., which organizes the event.

The Fort Worth Alliance Air Show also was affected. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels were supposed to perform at the show in October, but their entire season was canceled because of spending cuts.

Luckily, both air shows will be held as scheduled. More than 30 different aircraft will be featured at the Denton Airshow on June 15 at Denton Enterprise Airport, organizers said, and officials with the Fort Worth event announced Tuesday that their show would go on without the Blue Angels.

We realize that losing military jets at air shows is just a tiny part of the overall sequestration picture. Although the economy hasn’t come crashing down as some predicted it would, the process has touched countless lives and had many serious effects, including loss of livelihoods, and the fallout is expected to continue.

But as we considered this latest loss to sequestration, we couldn’t help but wonder why some federal agencies — the IRS comes immediately to mind — don’t have to suffer along with the rest of us.

In case you missed it, news reports this week revealed that the IRS had spent close to $50 million on 225 conferences. Some conference attendees reportedly received benefits such as baseball tickets and stays in expensive presidential suites.

The reports detailed other high-dollar expenditures, and the IRS — already facing bipartisan criticism for allegedly targeting tea party and other conservative groups — is again under public and political scrutiny.

And with good reason. We realize that $50 million doesn’t buy what it once did, but we can’t help wondering why the money wasn’t used to purchase necessary items instead of being wasted on conferences and perks for the attendees.

Don’t think the conferences were a waste of money? Guess you haven’t seen some of the videos or read the news reports.

This isn’t the first time that the IRS has come under fire for wasting taxpayer money, of course, and to be completely fair, it’s not the only agency that has done this.

In fact, we can’t help wondering if this sequestration situation might have been avoided altogether if someone had spent a little more time investigating some of the wasteful habits of government agencies.

Instead of calling each other names in endless debates over who is at fault for the latest crisis, why don’t our elected officials in Washington get busy cutting the budgets of agencies that continue to waste our tax dollars?

Why don’t they let the IRS and other wasteful government agencies share in the “fun” of sequestration?

Maybe then the military jets could return to air shows and amaze us once again.

 


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