Are you ready for a little insult?
Your lawmakers are junketing again.† They are flying off to romantic places, often with wives in tow, on your tax dollar.† And often on government planes.† Which you bought, of course.
It is not the money.
Now, you know that when somebody says ďItís not the money,Ē itís the money.† In this case it truly is not.† The money only comes to $13 million a year.† Congressguys go through $13 million every minute.† It is the insult, I suppose.† Tis the slap in the face.
Firstly, the budget for travel for Congress is much larger than $13 million. Congress uses† formulas which come nowhere near disclosing all the costs of such travel.† Convenient formulas if ever there were.
Secondly, their travel budget has increased tenfold since 1995.† You donít have to study lawmaking very much to deduce that the need for congressguys to travel has not increased that much in 14 years.
Recently the Wall Street Journal ran a long story about a junket members of Congress undertook.† They said the trip was necessary for them to study the effects of global warming.
They said they needed their wives with them for inspiration and perspective they would provide.
They defended diving and snorkeling off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia on the trip.† They said that cable car trip through the Australian rain forest was essential.
They simply had to fly to the South Pole to understand what projects America is undertaking there.† It was essential for them to spend a night at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki.
One of the congressmen went on a similar fact-finding tour last summer with several colleagues.† Their inquiries forced them to go the exotic Galapagos Islands.
The article told us about a 2007 trip five senators took to Paris.† To visit the Paris Air Show. The lead senator was from Alaska.† He said it was important for him to go to the show because Alaska depends so much on air travel. I suppose the senators from California feel duty-bound to go to the international car shows in Italy for a similar reason.
Most of this travel is a crock.
First of all, you donít learn a lot about global warming snorkeling.† Yes, you can see damage to the reefs.† But you learn zip about where the damage originates.
A congressguy can learn 1000 times more about global warming or cooling (ahem, we are in a cooling period, you know) by sitting in his office and reading reports on it.
And the senator from Alaska did not learn a single thing at the Paris Air Show that will help Alaskans hop from city to city faster or cheaper.
And many scientists file reports each year that will tell politicians all they could ever need to know about changes that may occur in the Galapagos or Antarctica.
These trips are junkets, pure and simple.† They have about as much to do with congressional business as going to the movies does.
What irks me is that these birds expect us to believe otherwise. They trot out lame excuses fer us rubes to swallow.† And they laugh up their snorkel tubes at us when we do.
They humiliate the CEOs of the big car companies when the Detroit guys fly to Washington in corporate jets.† They want them to drive from Detroit to D.C. in dinky cars that burn egg whites and burger drippings. Meanwhile the politicians order up another ten sleek jets for themselves.
A fly on the walls of Congress must hear a lot of chortling about the idiots back home. ďThey are sooooo stupid they probably donít even know where the Galapagos Islands are!Ē
From Tom ... as in Morgan.†††††††††††††††††††
For more columns and for Tomís radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.