Welcome To The Federal Government's Dream Garage

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
welcome to the federal governments dream garage

The newswires and blogosphere are flooded with stories about average Americans and the sacrifices they have been forced to make by high fuel costs. But what about the federal government? Are all the Presidents men cutting back on fleet size, fuel consumption or general wastage? Of course not. The Detroit News has some analysis of General Services Administration data, which says that the Government's vehicle fleet costs taxpayers $3.4b per year. For comparison, the proposed $25b in loan guarantees to bail out the Detroit 2.8 will "only" cost taxpayers $3.75b. So what's driving the high cost of government fleet use? Well, at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, they aren't sure. Fleet costs at HUD have jumped nearly 70 percent since 2004, to more than $2.1m last year. But during the same period, the agency cut its fleet size and fuel consumption. "Where that spike in overall costs came from, I have no idea," said Bradley Jewitt, director of HUD's facilities management. Meanwhile, the Department of Interior was told by its accountants to reduce inventory. And so it's increased its fleet. (Hey, the VA managed to just plain lose a car last year.) Get this: Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters has two chauffers, who made a combined $128k last year. HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt has one driver who earned $90k last year. So times may be bad, but at least your government is healthy enough to waste your money.

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  • Ryan Ryan on Aug 02, 2008

    NickR, Yes Sir, we are right with you.

  • on Aug 02, 2008
    "So times may be bad, but at least your government is healthy enough to waste your money." That is why times are bad. The government is way to big. Check out the windfall profits of the oil companies compared to what the oil companies pay in taxes to the government. The government is the biggest gouger.

  • Joelaterdayz Joelaterdayz on Aug 02, 2008

    Well, GOV (government owned vehicles) have always been around, particularly on military installations. In the case of the Air Force, that would equate to old six passenger (6-Pax), extended bed, heavy duty pickups. I'm sure the federal government has tons of similarly monstrous gas sucking vehicles in their fleets, to include those nasty 12 passenger vans. The thing is, people always avoided driving GOV's because they were ugly as hell, you couldn't take them through a drive-thru or run personal errands, and they were usually poorly maintained (one of our trucks had a blow-out and flipped on the autobahn because the maintainers spray painted the sidewalls with black spray paint to cover up the graying of the rubber). Now that gas prices are high, people are driving these POS GOV's for official bizness instead of their own cars and paying for the fillups with their government accounts. However, I really, really can't get past the fact that a government chauffeur made $90k. Unless he's a contracted chauffeur/glock-toting bodyguard from Blackwater or something.

  • OTTO SALES OTTO SALES on Aug 03, 2008

    The G.S A. is doing a better job than most.Selling Flood cars. This past Friday while at a Premier Auto Auction Lomira WI I watched in amazement as the G.S.A auctioned off flood damaged vehicles.Clearly branded and disclosed as FLOOD Damaged Salvage titles.What G.S.A is this?Part of FEMA that crawls up the butt of land lords when a house has a mold issue?One car a 2007 Chevy Impala had a two inch tall growing plant on the floor! Where are the cameras? Who do you know wants to buy A FLOODED car? A genuine government owned DIPPED IN WATER FULL OF HAZARDOUS DECAY 2008 Dodge or Chevrolet? These car were shipped all over the country by the G.S.A. Your tax dollars at work!