I Part With My Liberal Friends Here

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & Deficit1 Comment

I think this story is being overblown by the left:

The Bush administration spent $1.4 billion in taxpayer dollars on 137 contracts with advertising agencies over the past two-and-a-half years, according to a Government Accountability Office report released by House Democrats Monday.

With spending on public relations and other media included, federal agencies spent $1.6 billion on what some Democrats called "spin."

The six largest recipients of ad and PR dollars were Leo Burnett USA, $536 million; Campbell-Ewald, $194 million; GSD&M, $179 million; JWT, $148 million; Frankel, $133 million; and Ketchum, $78 million. The agencies received more than $1.2 billion in media contracts, according to the report.

On its face, it sounds like a waste of taxpayer money . . . and some of it might be.  But (as the article goes on to explain) $1.1 billion of the $1.6 billion was spent by the Department of Defense.

Why?  Recruitment.  Certainly, we can all agree that that expenditure is worthwhile.  (I do question where the money went, because from my humble sitting post, I haven’t seen much evidence of heavier recruiting advertisements).

The article also states:

A Food and Drug Administration contract had the objective of warning the public about the "consequences and potential dangers of buying prescription drugs from non-U.S. sources."

Again, that is (arguably) money well spent.

So, without more information, I’m largely unmoved by this story.