Saturday, July 24, 2010

Congressional Spending: Hypocrisy at its Worst, Spending at the Most

Your tax dollars are being spent with large food bills in Congress, along with bottled water and the business as usual spending.
House members spent part of their Members Representational Allowance during a nine-month period between 2009 and early 2010. [*]
If you are a food vendor/caterer, like CapitolHost, 61 legislators and 20 congressional office personnel would be using your catering service at taxpayer expense totaling to at least $169,143 during the period mentioned above. This is only a partial expense.
Texas Republican Michael Burgess spent $17,515 on food and House delegate for Northern Mariana Islands [†] spent the most at the tune of $23,457 – his chubbiness testifies to his consumption.
Interns and Pages spent $4.4 million.
The House spends about $1.4 million per month on travel vouchers.
Congress spends $1.2 million on paid newspaper subscriptions. [‡]
The total for congressional food spending is $604,000 for nine months.

With people out of work and Congress balking at extending unemployment payments (despite the fact that it is a taxpayer-funded program and they said yes business bailouts to the tune of $709 billion, $44 million unaccounted for) – how can members of the US Congress be so frivolous with the people’s money?
Isn’t about time they cut those frills and perks, since they are whining about cutting the deficit?
Who could you possibly work for who pays for your meals and bottled water? Isn’t that what business tax deductions on the income tax forms are for?
It is also time to put a stop to congressional members getting retirement paychecks after leaving Congress. It is an elected position, not an employment. A flat yearly salary fee should be all they are paid, and if they had only to rely on Social Security retirement benefits – it might induce them to fix or slowly get rid of that government program; turning it over to the choice of the People and private investment programs that are scrutinized for fraud and being frivolous with investor’s funding. Phasing out government controlled retirement accounts is the way to go, slowly so people will not lose out who are approaching retirement and making it a choice as to whether they stay on present government SSI or the option of turning it over to private retirement savings/investment programs.
Another waste of money is the perks for House interns and pages who work in Congress.
In another report revealed by Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit entity that is trying to make government more transparent; legislators operating expense has reached $1 billion.
Roll Call shows what the House of Representatives spent in the last six months of 2009 and the first three months of 2010 is not appropriate.
Computers are important for operations in government, as is in the private sector and it would be interesting to know that Microsoft/IBM has the most business – an odd statistic considering that the feds went after Microsoft (and ruined the corporation by dividing it up) for reasons of a monopoly clause in the law.
Politico reported that the iPad Owners Caucus in Congress are Sen. Claire McCaskill; Cliff Stearns (FL); Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ); Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA); and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT). (MO); Rep.
Congress spent $5.3 million upgrading their computer software (26,600 computers) to Windows 7 and $18 million on computer hardware.
The company who makes the most from the House of Representatives is CDW (IT company) at the tune of $6.5 million; $ 6 million to Cisco for networking and server hardware; and $2.5 million to Dell for computer systems. All of that is for MS/IBM/PC with Apple selling only $22,507.
How hypocritical of a government who almost brought down a computer giant corporation over monopoly arguments [§] have such a monopoly in Congress when it comes to PC and Apple computers.
Office Max made $7.5 million of taxpayer funding on office supplies; and a company called Alliance Micro provided printing services for $502,233.
The House spent $565,373 on carpeting during a nine-month period and $317,304 on new drapes during the same period.
Isn’t easier to spend other people’s money than one’s own?
If Congress is really tuned in to reducing government cost and waste, they might start in their own offices. Take better care of the people’s carpets and drapes, so they won’t have to be replaced so often; besides, there isn’t any smoking allowed in government buildings – so they should last longer. Remember, those costs are for carpet and drape replacement – not cleaning.
If you want to make it during this bad economic period in America – just either work for the government or cater to it via old fashioned capitalism enterprise. Hey, isn’t the present congressional majority AGAINST capitalism?
I guess it only counts if you are not a Democratic-Progressive marching America to the tune of Marxist ideology.
Don’t do as I do – Do as I say.

[†] First time the islands have had representation in House of Representatives. 
[§] The companies who filed against MS went bankrupt or were bought out by someone else after it was all over, which means that it wasn’t Microsoft who caused their economic woes; but piss poor management of their own companies. The only people/entities who made out on the infamous federal lawsuit by the Clinton regime were the lawyers; the taxpayers footing the bill.

1 comment:

  1. This T-shirt sums it up pretty well.