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The Rosett Report

Grand Riddle of the UN’s Swelling Salaries

July 8th, 2014 - 11:18 pm

It’s a mystery. Following a rash of UN scandals some years ago, such as Oil-for-Food and an extravaganza of graft in UN peacekeeping procurement, the U.S. Congress began requiring from the president’s Office of Management and Budget an annual accounting of all U.S. contributions to the UN — summed across all U.S. government departments and agencies. But, as Russell notes in his article on the mysteries of UN pay and perks, the U.S. government has stopped releasing these figures. The congressional requirement for this information expired in 2011, when the last of these OMB reports tallied U.S. total contributions to the UN as $7.69 billion for Fiscal Year 2010. For the past three years, there have been no more OMB reports on this matter.

In sum, the UN has a problem with swelling salaries and staff perquisites, but can’t come up with a real total for its universe of pay packages, and its total review of this scene is actually less than total. Among the UN’s 193 member states, the U.S. contributes the biggest share, but the Obama administration no longer releases total numbers for how many billions that really entails. The GAO in its recent report recommends that the State Department should “work with other UN member states to ensure that the costs of key elements of total UN compensation are reviewed to address rising staff costs and sustainability.”

It all sounds like a recipe for spending even more money to review the mystery of how the money is being spent — the real problem being that neither the UN nor the Obama administration seems terribly interested in solving either the riddle of U.S. funding or the enigma of UN spending. All we really know for sure is — yes — those are your tax dollars at work.

(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com images.)

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Top Rated Comments   
If it's a money laundry, the money's clean now, right?
Invaluable, Rosett. You are one of a kind.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look at the weekly "Executive Focus" in The Economist Magazine--the UN budget is a cash cow, funded primarily by the USA.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The UN is where dictators send the kids of their favored lackeys so that they can use what little talent they have to exploit the UN for graft and corruption.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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my roomate's mom makes $68 every hour on the laptop . She has been laid off for seven months but last month her pay was $19303 just working on the laptop for a few hours. pop over here
========>>>>>> http://www.job-wiki.com/
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
No matter what 'total' you come up with, it will never include kickbacks, payoffs, money under the table, speaking fees, book deals, university jobs, cushy jobs, or invites to really swell events.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I was around six years old, I heard about Timbuktu. I didn't know much about it, except that it was very, very far away.
Once I was angry with my older sister. I asked my dad if we could send her to Timbuk-12. He asked, "Timbuk-12 . . . where is that?" I replied, "I dont' know, but it must be further away than Timbuktu!"
Perhaps we could relocate the UN headquarters to, say, Timbuk-95.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I was a kid the John Birch Society was pounding on getting out of the UN.

Was told by my parents (proud Eisenhower voters) they were kooks and pointed out their view that fluoridation of water was a Communist plot. Made sense to me then that my parents were right.

Now, notwithstanding the flouride thing they seem to have been quite prescient.

Cut them off, send them to Brussels to tandem with the EU where they can do their best to advance their OWG agenda (21, BTW...).
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
If it's a money laundry, the money's clean now, right?
Invaluable, Rosett. You are one of a kind.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
My "tax dollars at work." At *work*? Really?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look at the weekly "Executive Focus" in The Economist Magazine--the UN budget is a cash cow, funded primarily by the USA.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't think this is nearly as complicated as some want to make it. We don't need the GAO and teams of accountants to figure it out.

We really only need to take two actions to straighten all of this out:

1. Stop funding them.
2. Kick them out.

Done.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why does America pay such a disproportionate share of the costs? It is already hosting the UN, which seems like a very generous thing all by itself. I'm guessing the funding formula goes way back to the earliest days of the UN, a time when the world was just coming out of a brutal global war and America was virtually the only strong economy on the planet. If that is the case, it seems to me the funding formula needs to be revisited so that America pays no more than its fair share and the other member nations do the same.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The UN is where dictators send the kids of their favored lackeys so that they can use what little talent they have to exploit the UN for graft and corruption.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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