Fly commercial, pampered Congressmen!
Monday, Aug. 10, 2009 at 10:52am
There's a big brouhaha this morning over the new planes the House just voted for "senior lawmakers." The Obama Administration requested an upgrade on four new aircraft to replace those that are no longer up-to-date. The House tacked on four more at a cost of $550 million. Now serious legislators and publicity hounds on both sides of the Senate aisle are clawing to get to the front of the line opposing new additional planes as an obvious example of clueless and intemperate waste.
Personally, I understand why the President needs a brand-new plane every couple of years. I saw Air Force One with Harrison Ford. The fate of the free world hung in the balance and I can only imagine what would have happened if the plane in question was a clunker. But you have to really ask, why do Congressmen need private conveyance from one place to another?
The Journal gives some of the rationale, about how they go everywhere, how their trips, particularly during the month of August, when they would otherwise be taking up vast expanses of sand somewhere, help to inform them and shape subsequent opinion and so on and so forth. And I agree with that, too. Our representatives should be all over the globe, fact-finding, making things happen, representing our nation in the hot spots of the world. But why can't they fly commercial?
I'm not saying they should fly Coach. And probably it would make sense for them to get some kind of priority in the whole reservation mess. You don't want a big politico having to wait six weeks to get a Business Class seat on his way to Bosnia or Sri Lanka or someplace. We the People would probably have to make some concessions. But why shouldn't our elected representatives have to get themselves around in pretty much the same fashion as we do?
If they did, you can bet your bottom dollar, if you have one, that our entire transportation system would get a big upgrade, and not with all deliberate speed, either.