by Simon Black
Last week I decided to use my tax savings to pay the rent for US government workers affected by the shut down. Emails keep coming in from furloughed federal employees having a tough time. And money keeps going out.
As I’ve been highlighting over the past week, the government shutdown affects many more people than the 800,000 furloughed government workers. Some contractors and subcontractors might not even know their salary ultimately stems from government funding.
So it’s really millions who aren’t receiving a paycheck.
This obviously isn’t the first time the government has shut down. And it won’t be the last either.
With the national debt just shy of $22 trillion, there are going to be more shutdowns due to statutory borrowing limitations, something that’s commonly called the ‘debt ceiling’.
So the next shutdown could come as early as August… which is pretty ridiculous. I mean, the US is really starting to look like a banana republic.
Well, one enterprising American named Gunther Glaub got sick of all this fiscal irresponsibility.
He figured that if the government could spend a bunch of money it doesn’t have and stick taxpayers with the bill, that he should get to spend a bunch of money HE doesn’t have, and stick the government with the bill.
So he went out and bought a new Corvette… and sent an invoice to the US Department of Agriculture to pay for it.
I mean hey, $100,000 doesn’t even move the needle on the government debt. And since they already bailed out the car-makers, why not the car-buyers too?
Along with his bills and wire transfer instructions, he included a note that said, “Thank you for paying this debt.”
I won’t lie, here at Sovereign Man we thought this was hilarious. I mean, the government has definitely wasted money in worse ways than buying Gunther a new sports car.
Uncle Sam blew $2 billion on the Obamacare website that didn’t even work.
And taxpayers forked over half a million dollars to cover the legal costs of defending members of Congress from sexual harassment claims.
But go figure, the USDA didn’t think it was so funny…
When the USDA got the bill, they didn’t have a good laugh like us. Nor did they simply shake their heads at Gunther Glaub’s antics, and throw the request in the trash.
Nope. These USDA employees– who we are guessing are a whole lot of fun at parties– actually reported Gunther to federal prosecutors.
And the Justice Department actually charged and CONVICTED Gunther with criminal fraud under the False Claims Act.
This is pretty nuts given that Gunther faced 25 years in prison.
Given that the cost of incarceration is $32,000 per inmate in US federal prisons, Gunther’s prison sentence could have costed taxpayers $800,000… to punish him for asking the government to buy him a $100,000 car.
Obviously we don’t think that the taxpayers should have to buy Gunther a new car. (And the guy has got to be half crazy for poking the bear like that).
But it does send a clear message: YOU the citizen are responsible for the government’s debts. Yet if you try to reverse the roles, even as a joke, they throw your ass in jail.