Taxpayer Cash Down The Drain: The EPA’s Posh Office Furniture

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Photo of Herman Miller office systems

As if the mere existence of most of the Environmental Protection Agency wasn’t enough of a tax money rathole now that the worst of the early twentieth century pollution and industrial mess has been at least identified and the clean-up at least started, and now that they have moved on to terrorizing law abiding citizens, it turns out that the bete noire of the federal government collectively has a thing for expensive office furniture:

  • a hexagonal table ($5,539)
  • hickory chairs ($6,391)
  • a “Galerie lounge chair” with “Galerie settee” ($2,641 for the set)
  • a pencil drawer ($813.57)
  • “Herman Miller chair with adjustable arms, swivel, lumbar, caster and tilt,” costing $4,047

And where did our wayward federal agency acquire these lovely furnishings?  Steelcase?  Oh, no.  No drab and cold manufacturer for these public servants.  Try Knoll and Herman Miller, well-known high end office furniture makers.  To the tune of over $92 million dollars.

The furniture shopping sprees equaled about $6,000 for every one of the agency’s 15,492 employees, according to federal spending data made public by the government watchdog OpenTheBooks.com.

Six grand a person for furnishings?  For six grand yours truly could clearance rack shop and fill the closets of fifteen needy people.

“While private companies and citizens face more and more hardship from government regulation, the EPA literally sits in the easy chair,” said Adam Andrzejewski, founder of OpenTheBooks.com. “The EPA can’t relate to the financial hardships regular Americans face. It’s Herman Miller furniture for the bureaucrats, but Ikea for the taxpayers.”

Ikea?  Try garage sales and Craig’s List.

For this fleecing, The Washington Times gives the Environmental Protection Agency a Golden Hammer award for waste in Washington despite spending over $70,000 to have furniture moved just to replace carpeting in an office.

EPA takes its fiscal responsibility seriously. As a result of GSA leases expiring, numerous EPA offices were required to move or consolidate space between 2000 and 2014. New furniture purchases provided the agency the opportunity to obtain space efficiencies,” the agency said.

And buy designer office furniture all at the same time.  Yeah.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.