Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

If This Isn’t Government Waste, I Don’t Know What Is

National Traffic Suvery

I was stunned today when my wife handed me a letter from the US Department of Transportation. It was letting us know about the “National Household Travel Survey” that is being conducted. Apparently, we can expect to receive a phone call about this in the near future, and they would like us to participate.

It seems a bit silly to me, but that’s not the real waste going on here. As a “token of appreciation” our friendly federal bureaucrats included $5 in the envelope to encourage us to take the survey when we are called. Not a check, mind you, like the private sector might use. But actual cash. Now, this came in an envelope with a sticker labeled “Resident.” That’s the sort of mail we usually just throw out. In fact, I’m not even sure why my wife opened this one.

How many people are literally throwing $5 in taxpayer money away? This is the epitome of stupid government behavior.

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  1. I receive MIT’s Technology Review, and they frequently (3 times a year?) send me a crisp pair of dollar bills to entice me to fill out the survey. I offer this up as an example of the same behavior in the private sector. Maybe the math really does work out, including wasted money… but obviously, any number of Lincolns being thrown away hurts…

  2. Sure, but first it is less than half the amount (I have seen $1 before as well). But the key difference is that you get it addressed to you personally. This was mailed to “Resident” only which is the kind of mail that gets tossed by most people. If it had my name on it, I might be more inclined to open it at least.

  3. Since my wife and daughter get all the “good” mail, the “resident” stuff usually goes to me. I can’t wait for my five bucks! They’ll be sorry.

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