Here is a good use legislators have found for taxpayer money: more congressional travel, millions and millions of dollars of it! It’s not like we weren’t just hearing about how maybe some of those disaster victims in Missouri needed it, or anything. Free vacations for members of Congress and their families are the one thing we have left to offer our national royalty, because we are so poor now. The nice people of America will give up their FEMA funds and their Medicaid and their Pell Grants so our lawmakers can make those crucial goodwill-building trips to Costa Rican beaches. Pelosi actually told legislators to knock this off in 2010, but whoops, she’s not in charge anymore. The orange man is. Quick, to Brazil, before this debt ceiling thing hits!
From the Daily Beast:
On the House side, lawmakers are on track to go on 35 percent more trips this year than they did last year. Senators spent roughly $1.2 million during the first quarter of 2011, ahead of last year’s annualized pace of $4.3 million.
And being a short-timer doesn’t have to crimp anyone’s style. Take former Sen. Chris Dodd, the Democrat from Connecticut. After announcing in January 2010 that he wouldn’t seek reelection, Dodd traveled to Brazil, Argentina, India, Spain, and the United Kingdom on the taxpayers’ dime. As chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, he signed off on close to $27,000 worth of foreign travel for himself, including a $2,000 trip to Cuba just before leaving office.
That is the spirit, Chris Dodd, don’t let that recession belt-tightening get you down. [The Daily Beast]