The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) has discovered that the Bush Administration has spent more than $1.6 billion in tax payer dollars on PR and advertising in a two and a half year span. Instead of using that money to improve our schools, pay for books or classroom supplies or teachers' salaries, the Bush Administration used it for propaganda to promote No Child Left Behind. Instead of using it to support families suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, that money was used to advertise "marriage-related research initiatives." Instead of buying equipment for the nation's first responders, it was used to promote "the Army's strategic perspective in the Global War on Terrorism." And instead of lowering prescription drug costs, that money paid for a FDA contract to warn the public of the consequences and potential danger of importing prescription drugs from other nations.
And the GAO's report just scratches the surface. The GAO surveyed only seven of the 15 cabinet-level departments, relied on self-reported information from the agencies, and did not include subcontracts, task orders on existing contracts, or public relations work done by government employees.
The truth is, no amount of money will successfully sell the Bush Administration's failed policies, from the war in Iraq, to its disastrous energy policy, to its confusing Medicare prescription drug bill. But $1.6 billion dollars?