The federal government’s spending on poorly-recognized mascots and freebies (such as keychains, totes, and fidget spinners) for federal agencies serves no real purpose and doesn’t advance the missions of the agencies in question. While it isn’t a major part of the overall federal budget or deficit, it’s still taxpayer money that should be spent responsibly. Congress’s oversight function makes lawmakers responsible for ensuring that federal funds are spent responsibility at all times, even when the spending in question is a relatively small amount of money.
The money that the federal government spends on swag and mascots works out to less than 0.002 cents per American taxpayer — effectively zero. If Congress wants to get serious about runaway federal spending, it needs to cut entitlements or tax giveaways to the rich, both of which represent far more money than federal agencies’ spending on mascots and swag. Moreover, this bill fundamentally misunderstands the important role swag can have in putting issues and federal agencies at the forefront of people’s minds to raise awareness.