According to a recently-released study by Open the Books, the federal government has spent more than $4 billion on public relations initiatives since 2007. Washington employs over 3,000 PR employees, with well over half earning six-figure salaries; and has spent hundreds of millions more on projects outsourced to private PR firms. Some of the individual expenditures include:
- $5.3 million to survey veterans about the VA. Too bad they didn't put that money into VA hospitals instead.
- $57.7 million to promote FEMA flood insurance. If somebody can't get flood insurance from an insurance company, why should WE not only have to insure them, but pay to make sure they're aware that they can force us to subsidize their insurance on top of it?
- $1.7 million to make sure Washington bureaucrats are "happy and engaged."
Open the Books notes,
We always applaud agencies who make information available, but ... agencies are not charged with making that information interesting or newsworthy. Agencies certainly aren’t charged with using taxpayer funds to engage in thinly-veiled propaganda campaigns that are primarily designed to protect their budgets and hype outcomes.
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