According to the Government Accountability Office, taxpayers have been on the hook for hiring hundreds of new public relations experts to help get President Obama’s partisan message out to the public over the last eight years.
In addition to the half a billion dollars that have gone to government employees who focus on public relations, the administration spends more than $100 million in taxpayer money annually for private sector PR contractors and $800 million on partisan advertising.
The GAO reports that in 2014, the administration had nearly 5,100 PR staffers on the payroll. The median salary for these various spin doctors and ad men was $90,000.
“Spending $1.5 billion on government PR activities is a huge waste of money,” said Chris Edwards, a federal budget scholar at the Cato Institute. “That sort of spending should be drastically scaled back.”
The new hires are spread throughout various executive branch agencies including the Pentagon, which leads the way after having added more than 2100 new PR employees since Obama took office.
The primary function of these new additions to the federal bureaucracy is to get the administration's message out to the American people on things like Obamacare, an effort that Edwards describes as “one–sided propaganda.”
“Look on the website of nearly any federal agency, and you will find glowing discussions of how programs are helping people and doing wonderful things,” Edwards said. "But there is rarely any mention of the taxpayer costs and economic damage done by these programs.”
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