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Fly away for me Mr. Congressman 2 July, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in federal.
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Fly away with me– I mean for me. Congressional trips are up big time. Tax payer funded trips nearly doubled since the 2005 ban on funding by outside groups. Both parties do it. Many of the trips are legitimate. Congressman Chris Smith went to Brazil and helped get a high court ruling in favor of an American father whose child was kidnapped. There have been 113 trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are high dollar wining and dining at the Paris air show. Whatever the case, there are a lot more of them. When Republicans took control, they eventually increased trips 6 fold. When Democrats took over they radically increased them in only two years. Trips are 10 times 1995 levels. They now have a fleet of 16 aircraft just for Congressional trips overseas.

The issue is complicated and I won’t demagogue it. Some of it is a useless waste of money while some is valuable. What I will do is ask is it hypocrisy to blast private executives for using planes and have the Air Force maintain a fleet of 16 planes and block full public disclosure of expenses? It is one thing to be fleeced. It is another to be mocked by those doing it.

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1. wickle - 2 July, 2009

What? You don’t actually expect CONSISTENCY from these people, do you?

In truth, I’d like to see nearly all of these trips done away with. Even the guy flying to Brazil probably could have afforded his own ticket (since Congressmen are paid 6 figures to work less than half the year), but I won’t begrudge that one.

Even trips to Iraq are just photo ops. They do far more for the pols than the troops, regardless of what they say about improving morale. (Again, I’d be more impressed if they paid their own way, though.)

Still, that’s a great point. It’s absurd for these jokers to blast execs while they’re even worse.

2. David Anderson - 2 July, 2009

As for Iraq and Afghanistan, if they can send me there, I like it if they come by to see what is really going on.

Thanks for the compliment. It strikes me that so much official business happens at resort locations. I am sure that their families help them think. 🙂 I take my family on a business trip once in a while. It costs nothing extra. The room and meals are the same for the company. I wonder if they work on the same rules. I won’t hold my breath.

I don’t have time to research every trip so I will trust them until proven otherwise. Then they start acting self righteous. That makes me want to look at their trips. The French Air show and $1500 dinners bugs me a lot. If you are going to fleece me, don’t play me for a fool. That is just the start. The majority are legitimate, but that minority puts my teeth on edge. You could cut the trips in half and we wouldn’t suffer one bit on the quality of government.

The truth is Wickle, I don’t mind paying for the trips. I mind that they keep coming back.

3. wickle - 2 July, 2009

“I mind that they keep coming back.”

You know … THAT was brilliant. I wish I’d said it.


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