The federal government currently holds almost $18.4 trillion in debt. That amounts to about $154,587 per taxpayer, without even taking the total weight of unfunded liabilities into account.
So when federal employees start stealing fuel cards on the government dime to fill up their personal gas tanks, it may seem like a drop in the bucket. But when you add it all up, it starts to turn into real money, to the tune of millions of dollars.
As a federal employee at Arlington National Cemetery, Bobby Bennett Harris was authorized two fuel cards to maintain vehicles assigned to the nation’s most famous burial site. But he got caught using those cards to fill up his personal SUV. What tripped him up?
One of the cards that paid for gasoline was assigned to an all-electric vehicle. Oops.
How common is this type of government theft?
… The Office of the Inspector General at GSA has closed out 260 fleet card cases and recovered more than $2.4 million in federal taxpayer money between 2010 and 2014, but specialists in how to crack down on fraud say the real figure is probably much higher.
Nobody is saying that stolen gas cards are the reason why the government is trillions of dollars in debt, but it’s the principle of the matter. Federal employees should be held to the same standard as the rest of us, if not higher. This attitude of arrogance, that they are somehow entitled to use other people’s money as their own personal expense account, is the reason why the public’s respect and trust for the federal government are at an all time low.