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Article published March 26, 2013
Portraits waste money
Earl F. Tirk Jr. Oakland Township
Recently I was watching Diane Sawyer on television news. She had a segment about the portraits of our government officals being paid for by taxpayers. Each of these paintings is costing us anywhere from $22,000 on up. She said that, in the last two years, there has been $400,000 spent on these portaits. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was questioned about his painted portrait. He gave a very arrogant laugh and stated, “Isn’t that a small-ball question?” I personally feel that an enlarged photo, framed, would be sufficient, when we’re paying for it. Vilsack’s is the kind of thinking that got this country in the financial shape it’s in. Our government officials feel that everything they want at the taxpayers’ expense is “small ball.” Well, this small ball goes from thousands to hundreds of thousands and so on. Over the past several years, the media have exposed so much waste and corruption in our government and there usually is nothing done about it. It merely is swept under the carpet. Our government sometimes is likened to a soap opera. You can go days without watching it, and when you decide to watch it again you know exactly what’s going on — because nothing has changed.