Recently details about Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s, arrogant behavior in spending the people’s hard-earned money came to my attention. I know that Speaker Pelosi exerted her power in securing the use of an Air Force 757 aircraft for her frequent non-stop flights from Washington to San Francisco as opposed to her previous use of a smaller jet that required a refueling stop.
I have now learned that the cost to the American taxpayer is $60,000.00 for each flight or $120,000.00 for each round-trip, which occurs almost every weekend. It is reported that the flight crew must always be on standby, and the flight departs whenever Speaker Pelosi decides. Do you not wonder who is tagging along on the flights, and are they paying the government for the ride? It is reported that Pelosi’s family is frequently included, and I suspect that fellow Democrats from California are also frequent flyers.
Let us just assume that Pelosi and company make round-trips 40 weeks per year that would represent an expenditure of at least $4,800,000.00 of our money. While we have been told that she flies on government aircraft for security reasons, I see no legitimate reason for her to not have a couple of security agents and fly a non-stop commercial aircraft at significantly less expense. And, yes, I understand that she is third in line to the office of president. If security is so important, a smaller Air Force jet aircraft should be sufficient. Pelosi’s actions are nothing less than total arrogance, and an insult to the American taxpayers.
While I am in this ranting posture let me address another concern I have with our representative governance. It is now apparent that our House of Representatives and Senate now usually meet only three days or less per week when in session. The total number of days that they formally meet in Washington is getting fewer and fewer, but whenever they do adjourn, is it necessary for them to fly home at taxpayer expense every single weekend? I suppose with a few simple calculations I could come up with a financial number as to what that is costing us, but you and I know it is a devastatingly high amount of our money.
With the above in mind would it not be a better use of our money if our elected officials stayed in Washington, and conducted the peoples business? When our Representatives and Senators get home, they are essentially passing out earmark dollars, and raising money for their re-election campaigns. With our economy in disarray would it not be logical to cut the travel expense and work an increased number of days per week accomplishing the work they were sent to Washington to conduct?
There is another looming expense, and that is the need to replace Air Force One in the near future considering the fact that our new President is utilizing it with an unprecedented number of flights. Can you just imagine the cost of each of his ventures considering the expense of fuel, secret service, pre-positioning automobiles and personnel? I am certain no President has flown as much as Obama and I think he should stay in Washington more often, too.
Let me suggest a few more questions. Why doesn’t our president of ten months suggest that Congress reduce its expenditures and travel, and increase the number of days worked in Washington, since he promised CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY? How about this question…If you only worked three days per week would your employer continue to pay you your full salary and all of your benefits? Would you expect your employer to pay all your travel and miscellaneous expenses for trips to exotic locations when you were not officially in session too? Do you suspect in your wildest dreams that Speaker Pelosi or Senate Majority Leader Reid would suggest economic and efficient improvements in their individual domains?
If you believe that any of these questions should be answered in the affirmative, I have a bridge to nowhere I want to sell you. While these situations are sad, disgusting, criminal, corrupt, and will surely continue unabated, there is no one to blame but us. More shockingly I do not hold out much hope that we will do anything about it either. Our complacency will continue until our personal pocketbooks are empty, and I fear that time is coming very soon. Have we totally lost our minds or have we been bought-off by our duplicitous political leadership? Using the word again, I think we have become equally duplicitous in creating this economical debacle.
In my 78 years on this earth I do not remember living under a federal administration that exudes such pomposity.