CFC – Doing it for the kids…and the free stuff.
The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is generally regarded as being one of the best charitable organizations out there. It is an organization made up of Federal Government Employees and Contractors, who “volunteer” their time to “help the less fortunate”, by working with Non-Profits. Each regional committee teams up with a local non-profit to do the work, and the expenses are covered by donations. It is overseen by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) through regional committees made up of government employees.
Sounds great…right? Sounds very altruistic…right
Well, not according to a recent Washington Examiner article. Apparently, several Federal employees and a contractor felt that they “needed” the money more than the “less fortunate” did…because an auditor found that they embezzled more than $1 million of the donations, and lived La Vida Loca at their annual training conferences in Las Vegas and New Orleans.
What did they spend the money on?
First-Class flights, Room Service, Pay-Per-View Movies…and the list goes on and on. Even more interesting, is the fact that many of them flew into town a day early for their conferences, and stayed a day later using those “donations”, because they were “doing it for the kids”.
But on top of that, we learned that Federal Agencies actually pay hundreds of employees their regular salaries, while they take time away from their regular duties, to go and “do good work”…for the children.
But this recent audit is not the first time this sort of thing has been uncovered. Apparently back in 2012, the OPM’s Inspector General found that $764,069 of contributions were claimed as “expenses”, so that CFC “volunteers” could have a private box at the Washington Nationals baseball stadium…but they were doing it for the children.
When questioned about these expenses, Global Impact, the charitable organization that worked with the DC chapter of the CFC, said that things like in-office “neck massages for Loaned Executives” were justified and necessary, in order to help “alleviate stress”.
In a Fox News interview back in 2004, Nobel Prize Winning Economist, Dr. Milton Friedman described this scenario perfectly when he talked about the “Four Ways In Which you Can Spend Money“. He said:
“There are four ways in which you can spend money.
“1) You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money.
2) Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost.
3)Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch!
4) Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.”
Seems like the good folks at the CFC have become masters at the 4th way of spending money.