It’s a familiar lesson that taxpayers learn every few years: When government gets a big chunk of money, it tends to spend it quickly – and not always wisely.
Consider what happened in 2010 and 2011 when communities along the Gulf Coast suddenly got boatloads of money from BP to counter the effects of the disastrous oil spill.
City officials in Pensacola, Fla., handed out $30,000 worth of sports towels and another $30,000 worth of fleece blankets at local events. Okaloosa County gave away a trip to the Super Bowl and tickets to the BCS championship football game to drive traffic to its Facebook page.
And on and on.
Even though the money came from BP, that doesn’t excuse the waste. With more oversight, those funds could have been used as intended to help more taxpayers instead of a lucky few.