Social Security spends 700k on retreat
Sometimes even bureaucrats need pampering, and what better venue than arguably the most exclusive resort in all of Phoenix -- especially when taxpayers are paying the tab.
On Monday, the Social Security Administration began a three-day retreat for more than 700 employees, from as far away as Guam, at Phoenix's posh Biltmore Hotel.
The glorified vacation, which SSA officials describe as a "training workshop," cost taxpayers roughly $750,000.
"Wait, isn't Social Security running out of money?" asks 25-year-old Tempe fitness instructor Jen Rezaci. "That's ridiculous."
"That is ludicrous," says Christina Meints, a 26-year-old school psychologist in Tempe, "they couldn't have just trained them in a cafeteria or something?"
The retreat did hold training sessions during the day on things like stress management. The important question is whether it was shiatsu or yoga.
In the evenings, the honored guests enjoyed dinner, dancing, and a casino night. How fitting for those in charge of the nation'ss seemingly doomed Social Security fund. Guess who came up snake eyes? John Q. Public, maybe.
Could this be federal government hypocrisy at work?
In October, lawmakers, including then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, used executives of the now-federally funded investment group AIG as political punching bags after the "too big to fail" company spent about $400,000, almost half the cost of the SSA's lavish desert departure from duty, on a similar retreat.
"Those executives should be fired," Obama said on the campaign trail.
Well Mr. Chief Executive; where does the next buck stop? Club Med or Sandals?