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Did St. Maarten Cost Taxpayers $1.1M?

The $1.1M Dollar Woman

I want to say first off: Kudos to Sen. John Kerry. He flew commercial.

Proving once again that boneheadedness knows no party and has a dubious flair for timing we have $1.1 million wasted in Copenhagen. Funny isn’t it, that Charlie Rangel is in trouble for not reporting $700,000 in income on his financial disclosures. What does that cost the American taxpayer? Zero.

The current budget deficit is $12.3 trillion. It is tales such as these that make you understand just how we got there. President Obama is due to announce a spending freeze of all entitlement programs during his State of the Union address tomorrow. Whatever. Let’s rush through a jobs bill and run to a climate change conference in Copenhagen.  And what the hell, let’s blow $1.1 million in the process.  If anyone can prove long term benefits to this 21-member junket of shame I want to hear it.

At a time of record deficits and state’s slashing school budgets, at a time when Michigan has 15% unemployment and California is on the brink of bankruptcy here we have the story regarding Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Copenhagen.  The House Ethics Committee is set to decide on such quaint violations involving trips by members to St. Maarten and Tunica, Miss.  After reading this story by CBS News I say who cares.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has enjoyed stunning and impressive legislative victories on Cap and Trade and Health Care but she would do best to stay under the dome or on the streets of San Fran and quit traveling.  The faux must-do-must-go excursion to Copenhagen taken on December 16, 2009 was dubious from the start. Why would Speaker Pelosi and her entourage be the point of anything if the same conference included attendees such as the President of the United States and the Secretary of State?

Sharyl Atkisson/CBS:  “Fifty-nine House and Senate staff flew commercial during the Copenhagen rush. They paid government rates — $5,000 to 10,000 each — totaling $408,064. Add three military jets — $168,351 just for flight time — and the bill tops $1.1 million dollars — not including all the Obama administration officials who attended: well over 60.

Rep. Cleaver

Nevermind the painfully obvious: That absolutely nothing was accomplished by any one of the members of Congress attending this trip by way of a climate change agreement. Nevermind that. Consider this: Not only does the American taxpayer fit the bill for the members on the trip they pay for spouses and the children of members.  Unless Rep. Joe Barton’s daughter is a climate change negotiator, unless Nancy Pelosi’s millionaire husband is secretly a counsel for Senate Envio and Public Works, you have wonder why taxpayers should pay their expenses.  Paying for millionaire member Jim Sensenbrenner’s wife may not raise an eyebrow if at least something was accomplished during the trip or if expenses were lower. But $1.1 million?

I can’t wait to be educated on the activities of CBCers G.K. Butterfield and Emanuel Cleaver on this trip.