Congressional Spending Hypocrisy in Action

August 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

congress_hypocrisyOur big spenders in Congress continue to manifest their complete hypocrisy in matters of spending our money. Collectively, they earn this week’s “fools of finance” award.

Yesterday we learn that the House has appropriated $500 million to require the Air Force to buy planes it does not want or need. Mind you, these are not fighter jets or bombers used to augment our national defense. No, Congress wants the Air Force to buy and use these unwanted aircraft to  upgrade the fleet of jets used to ferry members of Congress. Apparently, Congressional “fact finding” trips – taken at taxpayer’s expense – are just not luxurious enough at the present time. These new aircraft should encourage even more taxpayer funded Congressional jaunts, which have increased by almost 600% since 1995.

According to the WSJ article, Congressional travel waste is a party-neutral activity, with Republicans happily joining in :

This month, for example, 11 separate congressional delegations will swing through Germany. House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio is leading five other lawmakers on a trip around the world. Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) is taking a group of senators and their spouses to Europe for three weeks.

How long ago was it that these same politicians were lambasting corporate executives for their use of private jets for business travel? Or questioning executive compensation? Spare me.

There are not enough pejoratives to characterize those members of Congress who care nothing about our money except as to how it can be used to make their own lives easier. Occasionally, one of our beloved politicians actually gets caught using his office to line his own pockets. It just doesn’t happen often enough. I guess you actually have to store the corruption proceeds in your freezer to attract critical attention.

Finally, I note that the Senate is now on board with pushing $2 billion more of our money into the cash for clunkers program. Supposedly, this money is coming from “stimulus” funds. Who can really tell? Borrowed money is flying out of Washington so fast that no one can keep up with it. It doesn’t matter to me what line-item you assign to this clunker expense. I don’t want my tax dollars used to encourage my fellow citizens to incur more debt to purchase a rapidly depreciating asset.

Other than that, it’s a great Friday. Enjoy your weekend.

Photo credit:  Roadsidepictures


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7 Responses to “Congressional Spending Hypocrisy in Action”
  1. Rick Beagle says:

    I read this article earlier and my knee jerk reaction was the same as yours. However, the Republicans are on a tear lately, and before taking the bait on this, I will wait to insure that the comments are actually true.

    There is a concerted effort by the Republicans to thwart our political process in an effort to reclaim power. I say this not to argue the point, but rather to state my sincere sadness that neither party seems interested in good governance as a way to maintain or gain power. It is all about the sound bites, and who gives a dang if they are true or not….

    I am disgusted with the Republican Party at the present moment, and while I disagree with many of the things that the Democrats are doing, the stench rising from their actions pales by comparison. Which is a terribly sad comment to make….

    Peace.
    Rick Beagle

  2. lurker carl says:

    As usual, the folks who make the rules don’t live by them. As our representative chided the auto executives for their private jets, they were planning to increase their own private fleet.

    I wonder how many of our representatives unloaded their ‘clunkers’ for economical vehicles? None, I would presume!

  3. My Journey says:

    Rick,

    I completely agree with you. I feel like the reason I align myself with the republican party, smaller gov’t, just doesn’t exist anymore? Now it is the lesser of 2 evils, which is a garbage reason to affiliate yourself with any group.

  4. Duececlub says:

    What really caught my eye was this beauty of a phase….

    “Lawmakers disclosed they spent about $13 million traveling the world last year, a tenfold increase since 1995, when travel records first were made available electronically. The travel costs are covered by an unlimited fund created by a three-decade-old law.”

    Unlimited funds???? Surely there is a cap on the amount that can be spend on travel.

  5. MasterPo says:

    Rick,

    The Republicans fell off the fiscal conservative wagon and have paid a heavy price for it. But please stop beating someone when they are down.

    Right now it’s DEMOCRATS in charge. Even if all Republicans voted against it the Dems still have the numbers to push it through.

    Please stop blaming all the ills of society on Republicans when they are no longer in power. It’s very unbecoming of someone who’s stance is supposed to be enlightened and tolerant of others. :-D

  6. Rick Beagle says:

    “Please stop blaming all the ills of society on Republicans when they are no longer in power. It’s very unbecoming of someone who’s stance is supposed to be enlightened and tolerant of others. ”

    Forget that nonsense, I do not tolerate stupidity, obstructionism, fear mongering and outright lies. If you think that is okay because such and such happens to pretend they are philosophically aligned with you, then you simply become an enabler. I am NOT happy with many of the things that the Democrats are doing, but honestly, I feel like my voice is being heard. McCain started a terrific trend in encouraging our elected leaders to spend more time with their constituents via town halls. I am sure there were others who did this, but wow, look at the number of conversation opportunities that we have with our elected officials.

    Now go to YouTube.com and look at what your Republican friends have done. Death panels? Birthers? The nutjobs on the Right scare the crap out of me, and their tactics know no bounds of decency. Instead of joining in a conversation toward good governance, we are seeing the ugliest of our people bared for all to see. Racist nut jobs thoroughly convinced that Beck is God and that anger and violence is the only answer. I do not tolerate that, and I find their actions vile, demeaning, disruptive to those of us who would like to have our voices heard, and most of all, I find their talking points ignorant, racist, and hate filled. Their comments are the product of dissent, this is the product of hate and lies.

    In case you missed it, read this article from the usually right leaning Julian Zelizer.

    MasterPo, I have a question for you though. Why is it that you find it atrocious that I should want some of our tax payer money used for single payer health care, but you don’t seem to mind my taxes being used to fun an unjustifiable war? You have no problems with MY taxpayer money being used to slaughter innocents, but protest loudly when I want your taxpayer money to support our innocents?

  7. Erik Sprague says:

    Mr Beagle,
    While I respect your opinion and applaud you for voicing it (I’ve worked for the last 16 years to guarantee you the right to do so), I disagree with you. Although I too disagree with the direction in which congressional spending has turned, I must say that your comment “…with MY taxpayer money being used to slaughter innocents…”, is reminiscent of the very anti-military rhetoric that poisoned our country during the Vietnam era. To make accusations of this nature toward America’s military is not only wrong, it is downright shameful. I too am a taxpayer (therefore, I pay my own salary) and I have never (nor have I served in a unit that has) slaughtered anyone, much less innocent people. I am not a baby killer, nor do I have a psychopathic desire to kill. I am an average guy with a family I miss very badly and I am currently on my fourth deployment in support of creating a better way of life for the Iraqi people. Please do not forget that we are here to bring Iraqi citizens some of the very freedoms many of you take for granted. The religiously fanatic insurgents who slaughter innocent people in the name of their god are the very force attempting to prevent us from completing that mission, by taking the lives of some of America’s finest patriots. I encourage you to voice your opinion loudly, put your “support our troops” magnet on your car and continue your quest to effect positive change in our government, but choose your words carefully when you include comments concerning your military. The vast majority of this all-volunteer force serves because we feel it is our moral obligation to devote our lives to something greater than ourselves. Please make every effort to exclude America’s most noble citizens in your political sniping.

    Your Faithful Servant,
    Erik Sprague, WO1, USA
    Al Asad Airbase, Iraq

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