Why is this man smiling?
Tax-payers, meet John Beale. You have been very good to him over the past 15 years. He has been the highest paid employee at the Enviromental Protection Agency, earning a cool $206,000 a year of your hard earned money. He was a climate change expert, who managed to keep his high paying job since 2000 despite seldom actually...showing up for work. For long stretches of time, including one 18 month period beginning in June of 2011, Mr. Beale never once darkened the doors at the EPA. His explanation for all of his absences was that he was working undercover for the CIA, a claim that for nearly 15 years no one at the EPA bothered to confirm. In addition to his chronic absentism, Beale also managed to bill his employer for 33 first class airline trips for $266,000 along with several stays in luxury hotels at twice the normal per diem allowed by the government, all of which were approved. Despite all of this, his "retirement" party in September of 2011, attended by EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, occurred on a Potomac yacht, no doubt also paid for by you. To add insult to injury, Beale continued to collect his six figure income a full 18 months after retiring from a job he never performed in the first place. When finally caught, Beale pleaded guilty to defrauding the US government of $900,000 and added that lying for all of those years was, "kind of a rush!"
When asked by investigators what he did in all of his time, Beale provided this nugget:
" I spent time exercising. I spent a lot of time working on my house, and I used a lot of that time trying to find ways to fine tune the capitalist system to discourage companies from damaging the environment."
Well, I'm not sure whether of not he found ways to keep companies from damaging the environment, but this guy could write a book about how to "fine tune the capitalist system." Step one: get a six figure government job, get paid without having to show up for work. Step two: send your government employer the bills for all of your paid vacation travel. Step three: after your retirement party, continue to collect your sweet salary for another 18 months!
I wouldn't suggest any of you who work in the private sector to try this. I feel relatively certain that if you didn't show up for a week someone would know and your employment would soon come to an end. I mean, even if you told your boss that you were engaged in secret clandestine work for the CIA, he or she still wouldn't buy it.
Ladies and gentlemen, the next time you hear a politician ask the Tax-payers for even more of your money, I want all of you to remember this story. I want you to consider the manifold incompetence on display at this one government agency. I want you to imagine how much of your money gets thrown around without oversight or consequence in the insane labyrinth of government. Then I want you to ask yourself whether your government truly needs more than the 3.7 TRILLION it collected this past year. Can any government who throws around six figure salaries to people like John Beale really be trusted with a never ending supply of more of our money?
Sorry Uncle Sam. You've collected almost 4 trillion dollars this year. You're going to have to get by on that!