Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pelosi's New Digs

Guest Post by Mo



With national debt at an all time high and huge deficit spending with no end in sight, how can any increases in government spending be seen as fiscally responsible? Well, we’ve got several excuses to look at.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has moved her offices into a newer, larger space, quadrupling her rent. [source] They claim that though her constituency has not significantly grown, her San Francisco staff “has increased to a size that requires a larger space for files and storage.” [source]

Now wait a minute, file storage? Isn’t this the digital age? Someone donate a scanner or two and a $100 Terabyte hard drive… Is this the same speaker whose own website advocates for investing in IT such as electronic medical records? Why not hold her own offices to the same standard? Maybe doing so would give her useful insight into the challenges and intricacies of the conversion to such a system… Information that would be useful to a public servant who would oversee legislation mandating such conversion within the medical industry (and perhaps other areas of government).

There, problem solved, move back to the cheaper office.

Oh, but wait, the new building consumes “less than half the power of a standard office tower, saving taxpayer funds on utility costs." Really? Let’s see the math. Does moving to an office that costs almost twice as much as any other representative while saving on utility costs result in a net decrease in taxpayer dollars spent? I know that if I quadruple my own rent and cut my utilities in half, I’m going to come out on the wrong end of the deal… but maybe that’s just me.

This sounds like some “voodoo economics” to quote a favorite movie of mine. Or perhaps it’s “fuzzy math.”

Oh, wait… wait. “It’s more secure.” Whew, now I feel a lot better, spend away.

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