Monday, June 1, 2009

The Perks of Public Service

The inmates are running the asylum:

"Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings spent $24,730 in taxpayer money last year to lease a 2008 luxury Lexus hybrid sedan. Ohio Rep. Michael Turner expensed a $1,435 digital camera. Eni Faleomavaega, the House delegate from American Samoa, bought two 46-inch Sony TVs.
The expenditures were legal, properly accounted for and drawn from allowances the U.S. government grants to lawmakers. Equipment purchased with office expense accounts must be returned to the House or the federal General Services Administration when a lawmaker leaves office."

"House members get a government expense allowance of $1.3 million to $1.9 million a year. Senators get $2.9 million to $4.5 million."

"The Senate and House release volumes of the reimbursement requests for these allowances, but do not make them available electronically. A Wall Street Journal review of thousands of pages of these records for 2008 expenses showed most lawmaker spending flowed to areas such as staff salaries, travel, office rent and supplies, and printing and mailing.

"But it also turned up spending on an array of products, from the car leases and electronics to a high-end laptop computer and $22 cellphone holder. Rep. Howard Berman expensed $84,000 worth of personalized calendars, printed by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, for his constituents. A spokeswoman for Mr. Berman, a California Democrat, didn’t return requests for comment…"
While American workers see their wages decline and face record job losses, it is unconscionable that Congress would indulge in such extravagant spending practices!

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Bungalow Bill said...

I am sick and tired of all these hypocrites who attack CEOs of major corporations for the same behavior. At least they have contracts. These politicians make promises they will be ethical, and aren't.

bluepitbull said...

Isn't that great? I was going to post something about that stuff, but that was a good post. Now they give them an allowance straight from the treasury? As if that makes it better?

Anonymous said...

Bugalow Bill said it best. While the producers,CEO's and such, earn their wages,the government is taking ours and spending like drunken sailors on leave.

No offence to drunken sailors by the way.

RightKlik said...

BB: They're giving hypocrisy a bad name.

Blue: Given the nature of their job, I can understand that they might need a pretty big expense account, but to use that money to buy unnecessary luxury items most of their constituents could never afford...unconscionable. And to lambaste corporate execs of the private sector for their spending habits...amazing!

CS: They're giving drunken sailors a bad name.

cube said...

Hyprocrisy most foul! These moral reprobates continue to screech about corporate CEOs, yet they pull the same stunts. They can't be voted out of office soon enough for me.

RightKlik said...

Cube: I hope we CAN vote them out.