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Getting Sloshed On The Taxpayer’s Dime

Posted by Casey on January 22, 2010

Politicians are well-known for wasting our money so they can live very comfortably.  While many of us are outraged over such lavish waste, libs tend to forgive the behavior (unless a Republican does it).  However, using the taxpayer’s dime to reap such rewards is one thing … taking money from our troops so you can pound shots with your buddies is another thing altogether.

When members of Congress travel overseas at the expense of the Department of Defense, they are treated to thousands of dollars worth of alcohol and other amenities. A review by The Wall Street Journal of congressional disclosure documents for 43 trips found that expenditures averaged $4,300 per trip—and that’s just what has been reported. Lawmakers are required to declare what they spend on travel but not what others like the Pentagon do on Congress’ behalf.

In March 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and nine other lawmakers traveled to England, India and Spain. Their flight included $438.75 worth of alcohol, including three cases of beer, 15 bottles of wine, three bottles of vodka, Crown Royal, Dewar’s and other liquor, plus another $750 worth of chips, cakes and other snacks—all of which were paid for by the U.S. Air Force.

A junket taken by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) to Africa in December 2008 included $3,360 in “emergency requests” paid for by the military. Some of Inhofe’s party went to a Wal-Mart and bought $130 worth of cookies, mints and other munchies for the trip. They also spent $250 at Total Wine & More.

Joel Johnson, a defense-industry analyst with the Teal Group Corporation and former staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the military-funded trips help provide a “bonding” experience between lawmakers and Pentagon officials which “is helpful for the military when they are seeking particular things in appropriations or authorizations.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff

When will my congressional representatives go on a “bonding” trip with me, or any of their other constituents?

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5 Responses to “Getting Sloshed On The Taxpayer’s Dime”

  1. penned said

    Well done!

  2. NickPacionesSpunkyBackpack said

    It’s probably worse in the UK. In addition to the cash paid to our politicians to pay their bills and for groceries ON TOP of their salaries, millions are also spent subsidizing the many restaurants, cafes and BARS (does your workplace have several bars too?) in Parliament. What’s worse is that taxpayers also fork over £250,000 a year to subsidize a bar used exclusively by JOURNALISTS.

    The UK has the most complacent and lazy political journalists on Earth (you guys think MSNBC is bad?) because they spend all day in the bar drinking free booze (at a rate of more than £1000 every working day) waiting to be told what to say by friendly politicians.

    • Host said

      Oh man … I don’t know if you can realize how bad it really is here. Each member of our congress gets millions of dollars annually to spend as they see fit … above their salary. The average health insurance plan taxpayers provide for them runs $1,400 a month. We pay for their cars, planes, gas, groceries, and apparently their alcohol. How sad is it that we can compare notes on this?

  3. SillyMetaphor said

    The basic problem is that human nature needs a class of nobles and royalty. We’ve progressed since ancient Egypt and Tsarist Russia, but the basic needs are still there — “Regal Cinema”, “Imperial Sugar”, “Royal Pudding”, homecoming queens, the king of rock and roll, and, as we note here, tax money for wine for the nobles. You might as well settle down, this stuff will be around for a long time, humans are just too freaking stupid.

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