The times being what they are, one would think that Congressmen would make some effort to economize, if only to show symbolic support for constituents who are being laid off. But no: the Wall Street Journal reports that spending on taxpayer-funded, overseas Congressional travel continues to rise. Such travel spending is up almost tenfold since 1995. It has risen another 50% since the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007. This graphic tells the story:
Not all overseas travel is in the “junket” category, of course. But even when Congressmen piously tell us they’re checking out war zones, there may be more to the story:
Often, lawmakers combine trips to war zones with visits to more tranquil spots. In February, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a delegation of Democratic lawmakers to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan for a day. Before landing in Kabul, the eight lawmakers and their entourage of spouses and aides spent eight days in Italy, spending $57,697 on hotels and meals.
If you’re suffering from our weak economy and hoping Congress will spend your hard-earned tax dollars wisely, Nancy Pelosi has a message for you: eat your heart out!