The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Binging On Taxpayer Dollars

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


The over-indulgent, over-zealous party attendee can certainly be an obnoxious component of any weekend celebration.  This individual is often referred to as That Guy.

The societal pressures on a returning serviceman can, at times, be overwhelming.  However, when the Department of Defense (DoD), as reported by the American Forces Press Service on January 27, 2005, tries to curb these pressures with a $13 million program called TRICARE that purports to give them the “tools” to make healthy adjustments to their potentially unruly behavior, one cannot help but question its usefulness.  The website ThatGuy.com is one such attempt.

The website introduces the viewer to an animated city skyline, complete with a video that introduces That Guy; a young man confidently walking through a crowded party only to find himself vomiting on the floor next to two women who are wholly unimpressed.  The video warns the viewer that “the buzz is temporary but the humiliation is forever.”  The same can be said about wasteful spending: the cost is temporary, the deficit is forever.

From the evolution of “Brain Maximus” to “Drunkus Obnoxious” to “Projectus Vomitus,” this foolish website depicts a night out for a binge drinker.  The DoD has left its traditional post on the battlefield to play nanny with taxpayer dollars – a role for which it is ill-suited.

Although the hokey production of this website should be viewed with jest, there is one compelling feature: the interactive “Bar Tab Calculator.”  Just in case That Guy is not “swayed by projectile vomiting and public humiliation,” the purpose of this alcohol budgeting device is to help a partygoer “determine how much drinking actually costs and all the sweet things that could have been bought with cash blown all on booze.”  If only the Department of Defense had remembered this lesson when deciding to fit That Guy into its budget.

It is unlikely that websites such as That Guy have any effect on servicemen and women.  Even with beer goggles – the most illustrious of That Guy paraphernalia – it is apparent that in this case, the DoD is “That Department;” clumsily squandering taxpayer dollars.  

The DoD needs to make use of its “Bar Tab Calculator” in order to determine how much could have been saved by avoiding such a frivolous waste of taxpayer money.  Imagine all the “sweet things that could have been bought” for U.S. troops currently fighting two wars with the amount this website cost to create.

  -- Evan Miller

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