More waste from your imperial Congress
Where is Congress in respect to this? They've spent money like drunken sailors for crap that's not helping the nation. New, leading economic numbers out today show that the jobs report by week's end won't be good. In fact, those numbers reflect a prediction we made just a few short weeks ago about unemployment hitting 10%. So the money spent hasn't helped the country, and what's Congress doing about it? They're buying three new corporate jets for government officials to use to jet around the globe in:
Last year, lawmakers excoriated the CEOs of the Big Three automakers for traveling to Washington, D.C., by private jet to attend a hearing about a possible bailout of their companies.
But apparently Congress is not philosophically averse to private air travel: At the end of July, the House approved nearly $200 million for the Air Force to buy three elite Gulfstream jets for ferrying top government officials and Members of Congress.
The Air Force had asked for one Gulfstream 550 jet (price tag: about $65 million) as part of an ongoing upgrade of its passenger air service.
But the House Appropriations Committee, at its own initiative, added to the 2010 Defense appropriations bill another $132 million for two more airplanes and specified that they be assigned to the D.C.-area units that carry Members of Congress, military brass and top government officials.
Technically, this should have been an earmark, but because it was added to something already appropriated it didn't fall within the earmark rules. In other words, the lucky SOB that snuck this in won't ever be known unless someone in Congress blows the whistle on them. Don't hold your breath folks. Congress has a code of silence that makes cops look like blabber-mouths.
When the Speaker requested a plane for her use, it made sense. Being in the line of succession for the presidency, she needs secure air travel. Her demands for a jet that was more elaborate than the one used by Hastert rightly raised ire, not only in Congress, but amongst the people, as well. She's the Speaker of the House, not a queen.
But this is asinine. The people in congress, save the Speaker and President Pro-Temp, should have to travel commercial like everyone else does. For them to go along with this shows the utter disconnect they have with the people in America. It's bad enough Democrats think of us as a mob of idiots; the great unwashed masses that can barely speak, let alone think. But this smacks of elitism in ways the Congress was never supposed to be.
We elected these people. They work for us. And they're spending our money on crap, and insulting us when they get on TV because we don't want to follow their lead. (We don't want to follow their lead, by the way, because we know they're going in the wrong direction. Welcome to America, a representative republic.) This should be one more reason the get rid of these bums next year.
Congress needs new, fresh blood. The days of the status quo has to go. It's time to shake-up DC in ways that have been forgotten. Fifteen years ago Congress overreached, and the nation threw a "temper tantrum," as Peter Jennings infamously quipped on election night in 1994 when the GOP trounced the democrats in the midterm elections. We think it's time for another one.