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Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
Topic - Medill News Service
As the nation hung perilously close to the fiscal cliff and the Pentagon faced its steepest budget cuts in history, the military was spreading around New Year's cheer at taxpayer expense.
The Washington Guardian and the Medill News Service teamed up this year to investigate how much the government spends on outside advertising, marketing and public relations contractors. What we found was that federal agencies spent at least $16.3 billion on the various image-making and messaging consultants over the last decade, and that about a third of the time they don't even competitively shop to get taxpayers the best deal.
Over the last decade, the government has awarded nearly a third of its advertising, marketing and public relations business without full and open competition designed to ensure taxpayers get the best price.
Eat your vegetables! Get some exercise! Have some candy! How about a whiskey? All of those messages are being paid for by the same source – your tax dollars.
In the midst of a historic surge in gun violence along the Mexican border and a rise in attacks on its own agents, the Homeland Security Department’s Customs and Border Patrol agency dished out $8.4 million for an unprecedented strategy.
The roar. The whoosh. The cheers.
The government has spent more than $16 billion over the last decade on outside advertising, marketing and public relations contractors, feeding a cottage industry of inside-the-Beltway and Madison Avenue firms that help federal agencies burnish their images and tailor their messages, an investigation by the Washington Guardian and Northwestern University's Medill News Service has found.