Congress: Do as we say, not as we do …
We, the American people are asked to cut back during these difficult economic times, to do without and budget our resources. Congress, well they just spend your money like drunken sailors with no concern what so ever.When will politicians ever understand, IT IS NOT THEIR MONEY!
Once again the US Congress shows that they have nothing but contempt for the American people and the American tax payers. Even after the 2005 travel scandal that l ed to restrictions on privately funded travel … Congress now just seems fit to bill the American People instead. From the WSJ comes the following:
Lawmakers take scores of overseas trips each year to visit military bases, meet foreign officials, attend conferences and see how U.S. funds are spent. Ever since a corruption scandal in 2005 led to restrictions on privately funded travel, legislators have been taking more trips paid for by the government.
The cost they reported for such travel abroad was $13 million in 2008, a 70% jump from 2005, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of travel records. Lawmakers don’t have to report the cost of domestic travel when the government pays. The $13 million didn’t include the expense of flying on Air Force planes, which lawmakers don’t have to disclose.
Over the 2005-08 period, the cost of legislators’ privately funded travel, both domestic and overseas, fell 70%, to $2.9 million, according to LegiStorm.com, a Web site that tracks it.
Let’s take a look at some recent expenses on your dime.
The expenses racked up by U.S. lawmakers traveling here for a conference last month included one for the “control room.”
Besides rooms for sleeping, the 12 members of the House of Representatives rented their hotel’s fireplace-equipped presidential suite and two adjacent rooms. The hotel cleared out the beds and in their place set up a bar, a snack room and office space. The three extra rooms — stocked with liquor, Coors beer, chips and salsa, sandwiches, Mrs. Fields cookies and York Peppermint Patties — cost a total of about $1,500 a night. They were rented for five nights.
While in Scotland, the House members toured historic buildings. Some shopped for Scotch whisky and visited the hotel spa. They capped the trip with a dinner at one of the region’s finest restaurants, paid for by the legislators, who got $118 daily stipends for meals and incidentals.
Eleven of the 12 legislators then left the five-day conference two days early.
The tour provides a glimpse of the mixture of business and pleasure involved in legislators’ overseas trips, which are growing in number and mostly financed by the taxpayer. Lawmakers travel with military liaisons who carry luggage, help them through customs, escort them on sightseeing trips and stock their hotel rooms with food and liquor. Typically, spouses come along, flying free on jets operated by the Air Force. Legislative aides come too. On the ground, all travel in chauffeured vehicles.