Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Chart of the Day

From the July 3rd Wall Street Journal:

source: July 3rd WSJ at A9

As the article says:
Spending by lawmakers on taxpayer-financed trips abroad has risen sharply in recent years, a Wall Street Journal analysis of travel records shows, involving everything from war-zone visits to trips to exotic spots such as the Galápagos Islands.

The spending on overseas travel is up almost tenfold since 1995, and has nearly tripled since 2001, according to the Journal analysis of 60,000 travel records. Hundreds of lawmakers traveled overseas in 2008 at a cost of about $13 million. That's a 50% jump since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago.

The cost of so-called congressional delegations, known among lawmakers as "codels," has risen nearly 70% since 2005, when an influence-peddling scandal led to a ban on travel funded by lobbyists, according to the data.
(via PowerLine)


Assistant Village Idiot said...

You and I would make foreign visits as well. This is not the narcissism and greed of our current politicians, but human nature. We take what we can get away with. Our emphasis on trying to elect honest politicians is misplaced. The libertarians have it right in this case. Don't depend on their good natures and honesty. Cut off the supply. They aren't any better than us; and that's bad.

Carl said...

I take your point, and agree about not expecting more from elected officials than we would from ourselves. But that doesn't explain the junket increase.

Not that there aren't some advantages. I once proposed upping Congressional pay to $250k/year minus $20k for each month spent in Washington. Do I hear a second?

OBloodyHell said...

> But that doesn't explain the junket increase.

I see two responses:

We're trying to get in those trips before we can't make them any more due to reducing our carbon footprints...

Yeeeeeah... that's the ticket...

Or how's this one:

"Americans are so insular. We're just trying to increase our knowledge and understanding of the rest of the world and its cultures, so we can govern better..."