Your Tax Dollars at Work

Along with doubling spending on external PR contracts, the Bush administration has increased PR positions inside government agencies, called public affairs. Public affairs staffs grew by 9 percent since 2000, "even faster than the federal work force," for a cost increase of more than $50 million. The Pentagon "added the greatest number of PR officials." Other increases occurred at the State, Agriculture and Interior Departments and the Social Security Administration. The Forest Service's Communications Director said "a growing number of advisory panels required by Congress and a controversial program that opens some forests to logging" necessitated the PR boost. He said media tracking had intensified, adding that "after talking to Newsday for this story, he would have to call his boss to report the interview."