Seeking Liberty

Liberty is the Fruit from Which All Progress Grows

To control spending, start with the basics

Nancy Pelosi likes spending your money.

If you’re reading this, you probably already knew that.  What you didn’t know is just how much and how carelessly Ms. Pelosi likes to spend your hard-earned tax dollars.  According to Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Air Force detailing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of United States Air Force aircraft for Congressional Delegations (CODELs). According to the documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Speaker’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.

Use of military aircraft aside, the expenditures also includes vast amounts of premium alcohol and special trips for family members.  A trip to Iraq also included large amounts of alcohol, a luxury officially denied to the uniformed men and women fighting Al-Qaeda and its surrogates there.

So much for the “most open and ethical Congress in history.”Apparently, Ms. Pelosi’s excuse that she needed a “more secure” aircraft wasn’t entirely true.  At the time, she claimed she needed an aircraft capable of flying non-stop from California to Washington, D.C.  The C-20 aircraft that Dennis Hastert used to return to Illinois could not do that under every circumstance.  Her reason, as stated above, was that she needed the additional security non-stop travel provided.

I’m not entirely certain why landing at a heavily guarded Air Force Base between Washington and California like Scott, Offutt, Whiteman (where they keep the B-2s) or Peterson wouldn’t be “secure” in the Speaker’s mind.

A trip in 2008 to “view flood relief advances from Hurricane Katrina” resulted in an extra $5,505.46 in expenditures to cover the cost of the trip.  Apparently Congressmen don’t like to pack light: Even though they rented a bus for three days costing $12,000 (the original quote was for $22,000, making it quite a premium vehicle), they still needed a “luggage truck.”  The Agent in charge of negotiating expenditures even had to fight with the hotels due to all the “extras” the delegation charged to their rooms.

Americans are angry about the massive spending going on in Washington.  They are angry about the trillion dollar deficits and they are tired of the same old political games.  One million dollars per year may not sound like that much when it comes to the Federal Budget; but the nature with which this money is freely spent–and over-spent–should be distressing to every taxpayer.

But then, why should any of this matter to us?  It’s just our money.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to figuring out how I’m going to pay for my flight to visit family this summer, since after paying my taxes all the money I have left goes to paying my student loans and rent.

You can read every document Judicial Watch is reviewing here.

Filed under: Government, taxes, , , , , , ,

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