Muffin is fighting back.
Under the headline "Muffingate's Sad Story: 178 Stories Perpetuate DOJ Myth, 37 Correct it," Sam Stein of the Huffington Post writes about recent reports of $16 muffins at a Department of Justice conference:
Such an extravagant price tag for a simple baked good was, undoubtedly, the perfect symbol of bureaucratic largess, along the lines of the Pentagon's $600 toilet seat. But it wasn't actually true. Three days after the study was release, Hilton Hotels (which hosted the conference at which the expenditure was made) clarified that the $16 charge was for a full continental breakfast plus tax. Instead of a detailed invoice, the hotel just listed the charge as "muffins."
A "full" continental breakfast, last time I looked, was a muffin and coffee. So, okay, the $16 included coffee. Gee. So is Mr. Stein (whose wife works for DOJ) saying that, if Mr. or Ms. Government Lawyer got a cuppa, then the taxpayer got a bargain?
But, you say, $16 is what a continental breakfast goes for at a Hilton–yes, that's so, but why are government lawyers, who are handsomely paid to begin with, holding recession-era conferences at any place where a muffin and cup of coffee costs $16?
There is no excuse for $16 muffins, even if coffee is included, when the taxpayer is picking up the tab. Especially in a recession.