Photo: The Department of Energy’s Green Reaper
U.S. Senator, Joni Ernst, says that there is some pretty “spooky spending” taking place in Washington, D.C. and has called out federal agencies on their unnecessary expenses on tricks and treats. She says more than $250,000 has been spent to construct custom-made costumes, including $5,000 for the Department of Energy to create a costumed character modeled after the Grim Reaper called the Green Reaper. Ernst adds that these agencies are also spending millions of dollars of the taxpayers money on tote bags and “goodies” to fill them up. There has been a staggering $605,000 spent on coloring books, $60,000 on key chains and $16,000 on fidget spinners. The total expenditures of the government’s public relations and advertising efforts top $1.4 billion every single year. “While these marketing efforts do include legitimate activities, like recruiting for the armed forces and alerting the public to potential health or safety threats, much of it is pure propaganda with little or no value to the taxpayers,” Ernst says. “These expenditures will haunt taxpayers for years to come. For these reasons, I am awarding my October Squeal Award to the federal agencies that have put a premium on promoting their own public image,” Ernst adds as she calls on the government to bag the swag.