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Gov’t Spent At Least $945M For Ads In 2010

From Fox News:

July 30, 2010: The Obama administration released an ad featuring Andy Griffith extolling President Obama’s new health care law.Report: US government spent at least $945M on advertising in 2010

Report: US government spent at least $945M on advertising in 2010

March 19, 2012

Federal agencies spent at least $945 million on contracts for advertising services in fiscal year 2010, and that sum doesn’t include all public communications expenditures in the agencies reviewed or even all of the executive branch, a congressional report out last week shows.

Congressional Research Service reported that the calculation was incomplete since the total sum may never be fully known.

"It is unclear how much the executive branch, let alone the federal government as a whole, spends on communications each year," the CRS report found.

Nearly a billion taxpayer dollars, and that is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

Also bear in mind that the vast majority of government advertising is aired for free, as Public Service Announcements (PSAs). So the bulk of this money just goes to production, which is mostly done at union scale rates. Which means there were a hellavu lot of ads made.

Of that total that was calculable, more than $545 million was spent by the Defense Department, much of it on ads to attract recruits, CRS noted.

The study, first published by the Federation of American Scientists, was done as the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight reviews 11 federal agencies.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., chairwoman for the subcommittee, issued letters to the heads of the federal departments last month asking for a reply by Friday with a list of contracts since October 2008 for radio and television spots, public relations contracts, direct mailers or other advertising services

Given the mention of the hardcore leftists at the Federation of American Scientists and Claire McCaskill, something tells us that this ‘study’ was aimed at cutting back on recruiting for the military and not cutting back on the waste of government money.

The report says that advertising serves many purposes, including informing the public of its rights and entitlements; telling the public of the agency’s activities; inviting public comment on proposed rules; warning the public of perils; and discouraging harmful or dangerous behaviors

We suspect the amount of advertising devoted to encouraging people to sign up for social programs like food stamps and housing assistance dwarfs that done for military recruiting by a wide margin.

According to CRS, over the last 100 years, Congress has enacted three statutory restrictions on agency communications with the public — one to limit hiring of publicity experts, another to prohibit using budget money to lobby Congress, and one to ban using budget money for "publicity or propaganda."

All three of which have been ignored. Especially, the prohibition against propaganda. (Cf. the ads for Obama-Care.)

[I]n August 2010… House Republicans on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee faulted seven agencies for engaging in propaganda to promote the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

For which no one was ever punished, you can be sure. In fact, they were probably promoted.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Gov’t Spent At Least $945M For Ads In 2010”

  1. Petronius says:

    How should the American people get along, without a benevolent government to tell them what to do?

    How should the American citizen know what is best, without the government advertisements to shepherd him, help him, and to guide his mind and soul?

    If only we might be given loudspeakers in every city and town, to inform citizens where to line up to obtain their ration cards, and to tutor us, so that we might know where to go to find gasoline, and the proper indoctrination centers for our children to attend.

    Yes, citizens, what a paradise our country has become, where food and shelter and medical care are free. Yes, a country where we are going to tax and regulate our way to greater prosperity.

    No more shall we return to a crime-ridden land of materialism and racial discrimination, a land where capitalist doctors chase pregnant women with ultrasounds.

    Yes, we shall become an even better country, full of collectivist compassion and generosity, where our leaders know our very thoughts, protect us, and always show us what is best for us.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      “Back in the US, Back in the US, Back in the USSR”

      Lennon/McCartney 1968 (generally)

  2. JohnMG says:

    Each service branch has advertizing costs built into their respective budgets. In my opinion, these costs should not be included in this study as they are a part of the overall defense budget and not a stand-alone expenditure.

    But if we’re going to bitch about that, why not also bitch about all these highway signs giving Obumbler credit for roads and bridges under construction?

    These people are sick. One of my greatest pleasures will be in voting for whoever becomes McCaskill’s opponent. I detest that idiot.

  3. Mithrandir says:

    PAID FOR BY THE U.S. ARMY….which is paid for by YOU. Remember those t.v. commercials? ~always hated that boast, as if the Army turns a profit to pay for their own ads. (*Also, “The Army gives you skills 9 out of 10 employers are looking for.” —FALSE! Try 0 out of 10)

    This ad business is just another slush fund to democrat voters. Make up a need, then pay your voters $50/hr to fulfill that need. Need more voters? Have a worker slow-down to create a crisis get more money thrown at the problem which will hire more voters.

    • JohnMG says:

      Everything the military (or any other government agency) does, for that matter, is paid for by YOU. But to suggest that such a line item (advertizing) doesn’t exist within the annual budgets is less than honest. Once the budget has been submitted and approved, and the funds appropriated there is nothing nefarious in using the money for the indicated purpose.

      It seems your biggest objection is the claim (boast?) that it was ‘PAID FOR BY THE U.S. ARMY’, a tag which, to me, indicates the funds came from a defense budgeted agency and not someplace like HHS or TSA or some other alphabet soup government arm. Unless a person is a total idiot, that person KNOWS that if it comes from “the Goverrnment” it is paid for by taxpayers.

      As for your ‘skills’argument……..that isn’t even worthy of response, for you are obviously allowing your personal opinion to obscure that which others plainly see is true.

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