Last week brought news that Congress, which had brayed about the use of corporate jets by the CEOs of the Big Three, planned to spend nearly $200 million to buy three Gulfstream jets .
Now the Wall Street Journal reports that Congress wants to double down — and then some — by upping the ante to $550 million to buy eight jets.
Lawmakers in the House last week added funds to buy those planes… plus funds to buy an additional two 737s and two Gulfstream V planes. The purchases must still be approved by the Senate. The Air Force version of the Gulfstream V each costs $66 million, according to the Department of Defense, and the 737s cost about $70 million.
Of course, there’s a good reason for spending so much money when deficits are monstrous and growing:
(F)oreign travel by members of Congress and aides was increasing. Last year, House members spent about 3,000 days overseas on taxpayer-funded trips, up from about 550 in 1995…
This month, for example, 11 separate congressional delegations will swing through Germany. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R, Ohio) is leading five other lawmakers on a trip around the world. Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) is taking a group of senators and their spouses to Europe for three weeks.
One reader responds, “Congress treats the American taxpayer like an all-you-can eat buffet… Pelosi and Reid, you need to put yourself on a diet, or we’ll do it for you in 2010.”
A diet for the political class? I won’t hold my breath.
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