Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government." This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power, is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”     Ronald Reagan

July 2, 2009

Diplomacy

by Brad Warbiany

Congress has been taking quite a few junkets on the taxpayer dime. Not a surprise, I know but the rate of increase (50% increase in last two years, 10x increase since 1995) is a bit of a shocker.

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.

Lawmakers say that the trips are a good use of government funds because they allow members of Congress and their staff members to learn more about the world, inspect U.S. assets abroad and forge better working relationships with each other. The travel, for example, includes official visits to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just a quick note to the Obama administration… If you want to improve the world’s opinion of America, letting them meet Congress is not going to do it.

H/T: Reason

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2 Comments

  1. Actually, I like it. Currently, the world sees what the government does and blames the people. I say we send them all over the world with a banner that reads “it was them; not us. Signed, the American people.”

    Comment by Miko — July 2, 2009 @ 9:40 am
  2. It’s good to see that in these challenging times – created in large part by the federal government – that members of the federal government are holding themselves to the same austerity all the other citizens are enduring.

    A nice trip to the Galapagos for a hard-working senator is certainly a few bucks from me. Though, “inspecting U. S. assets abroad” may have more meanings than I know.

    Comment by Akston — July 2, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

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