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Posts Tagged ‘Junkets’

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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