V.A. Spending Millions on Sculptures:

There’s a $483,000 rock sculpture that’s layered into cubes outside the mental health center at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., that’s meant to evoke “a sense of transformation, rebuilding and self-investigation,” according to designers. It’s part of a renovated $1.3 million courtyard.

There’s an art installation on the side of a parking garage that displays quotes by Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt in Morse code, at a cost of $285,000. It lights up.

Altogether, VA Palo Alto Health Care System has spent at least $6.3 million on art and consulting services. The costs come to $4,190,356 at the Palo Alto Medical Center, $1,879,521 at the Monterey Health Care Center and $280,000 in other budgeted projects.

Listen, we shouldn’t really be too hard on the V.A., everyone. After all, they have an exemplary record of timely service and care to the veterans they are supposed to serve, and are great stewards of tax money. They totally don’t have people literally dying while waiting for an appointment, or a GODAWFUL online system, or enormous cost overruns when it comes to building a hospital.

I’m kidding, of course. This is standard operating procedure for government employees. The agency responsible for these lavish pieces is none other than the notorious General Services Administration. You remember them, right?


This all becomes much clearer if you understand the motivation behind these purchases. These facilities are not really designed and built for you, they are built for the people who work there. And those people would like to work in a comfortable environment. Hence the building of lavish offices, beautiful artwork, and unnecessary sculptures. It isn’t just the VA, all of the government agencies pull this crap.