Monday, March 15, 2010
The Teabagger Travel Title Goes to ....
Senator Mark Pryor (Liebermantarian -AR) and Congressman Vic Snyder (D-AR2) took no overseas trips at taxpayer expense last year. Neither did Senator Blanche Lincoln (Bought Waffler -AR). The Arkansas King of Foreign Junkets was Congressman John Boozman (R-Pinnacle Gated Compound), who says he is against wasteful spending but had no problem loading up his wife on a military airplane for free round-trip airfare to Edinburgh, Scotland, and drawing $3,623.81 in undocumented expenses from the taxpayers for those four days.
Boozman also took a Valentine's weekend trip to Brussells, Belgium, to study how to have better relations with Russia, although he and Mike Ross (BigPharm-AR4) claimed they were trying to get our allies to send more troops to Afghanistan. Boozman said it was a busy schedule, but he was also able to work in side trips to Austria, France, and Germany and pocket $2,880.55 in unitemized "expenses" and run up $6,472.08 for his share of "incidentals."
Grand Slam. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, based on official documents, "In April, Boozman traveled through Germany to Africa and the Middle East, with stops in Afghanistan, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ghana, Qatar and Rwanda. The trip was paid for by taxpayers, out of an account reserved for members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee." He said he was conducting an audit of some foreign aid program that the State Department auditors must not have been able to handle. According to Air Force documents, it costs $4,821 per hour for a C-40 Transport used to shuttle Congressmen on these extended foreign junkets, so Boozman's per diem payments totaling $2,812.37 for the eight-day trip were a drop in the deficit bucket.
Nice work, John. We are so happy that you and your wife could see the world at taxpayer expense, even in tough economic times that you say made you vote against transportation projects, expanded health care, and job training programs for the common people here in Northwest Arkansas.