Gut Rumbles

February 01, 2005

a $600 hammer

You've all heard the story about government waste because we pay $600 for the same hammer you can buy for $12 at Home Depot. That's a lie.

You've all heard the story about $60,000 airplane toilets and $400 bolts in military aircraft, too, haven't you? More government waste. Another goddam lie.

How many of you people have ever DEALT with a government contract? I would like to know, because when the government wants a hammer, it doesn't want a standard 16-ounce model you can get off the rack at Home Depot. The government has a list of SPECS for this hammer that's as thick as the local phonebook. To GET ONE that pefectly-made, a factory has to set up a special assembly line and make nothing else but those hammers during the run. That costs money.

We pay THOUSANDS of people every day to do nothing but write specifications for government contracts. I am totally convinced that these people are paid by the pound of paperwork they generate, because they damn sure aren't paid to think.

THAT'S where most of your tax dollars go. Into idiotic shit such as that. Do you remember Al Gore, when he was going to "re-invent government?" He showed Jay Leno a certified government ashtray--- $700 bucks a pop, but those things met federal specifications. God's Own Ashtray.

You and I might use an empty Budweiser can, and under MY administration, we will. "Billions for weapons, but not a dime for ashtrays."

I'm getting into leadership mode.


Shit! Sorry, I meant to put this comment here!

I work with gov contracts and purchasing as part of my duties in doing the Manís bidding. And I can assure you that for the most part when I buy a hammer or ashtray the norm is for me to locate at least three local sources. Then I take all this shit and turn it over to another cat who looks shit over for the lowest price. That is unless itís a specific item I need from a certain manufacture like a Dell laptop or some such shit. Then I have to show him why I need it from this certain manufacture. Itís a very checks and balances kind of process. Iím not sure how the military does shit, but it canít be too far from the way I do shit. Iím just sayin and shit.

Posted by: Greg on February 1, 2005 03:02 PM

Exactly! I work with government contracts on food - you should see the specs they put out. They want the cheapest shit to be sent over seas to our military personnel, I swear sometimes the prisons get better food than our military

Posted by: Lili on February 1, 2005 03:30 PM

I’ve worked on government and commercial contracts that require everything to be per mil standard this or spec this. A $400 bolt is worth it… if it holds the wing on without breaking. Go to Type ‘toilet’ into the title search and you get 56 entries ranging from toilet soap to toilet paper—that’s right, a government spec on TP! I’ll bet if I looked hard I might find one on the proper procedure to wipe my ass.

Posted by: Pete on February 1, 2005 06:44 PM

Way I heard it, the hammer was a special alloy that doesn't get brittle at Artic temps, might have been non-sparking etc.

As to the toilet seat, wasn't it a special one for a specific aircraft? The military needed extras after the production run had finished so the cost of retooling the line was added into the seats, blew the per item cost all to hell & gone.

Well, that's the way I heard it.

Now if you want waste & corruption look at the Bureau of Indian affairs or the government printing office contracts.

Posted by: Jim Gwyn on February 1, 2005 08:32 PM

The hammer I actually know the truth on.
It was a very special hammer made out of titanium.
It had to have very exact specs, since it was used in the manufacturing of the SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plane.
It was made out of titanium since any other substance would corrode the aircract, or not have the impact power to shape the part.

Posted by: Super Ryan on August 6, 2009 03:54 PM
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