Justice Department spending was 'extravagant and wasteful,' inspector general says

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The federal government, going through one of those "we're spending too much" phases, has found that those negative Nancies are right — at least in certain cases — about government waste.

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An audit of the Department of Justice, released by the Office of the Inspector General, revealed how our tax dollars were spent at 10 of 1,832 conferences hosted by the DOJ in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, the Washington Times reports:

• $16 per muffin

• $76 per person for lunch

• $8 for a cup of coffee

• $32 per person for candy, popcorn and cracker jacks

• $10 per person for a "deluxe" ice cream assortment

• $7.32 per serving for beef wellington appetizers

The DOJ spent $4.4 million — $490,000 of it for food and beverage — on those 10 conferences alone. Other expenses included $3,454 to fund one consultant's three trips from his home in Anchorage to Palm Springs; the consultant's firm charged $29,000 for lodging and travel.

Now, before you turn this into a political blame game, consider that four of the events took place during the Obama administration, and six during President Bush's. Not that we're keeping score.

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