Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell is the guy the House needs to bring in to craft a budget plan that actually cuts spending. Mitchell’s golden rule is that the private sector must grow faster than the federal government. Budget sanity is not complex. Here Mr. Mitchell lays out a series of government travel expenditures that will literally take your breath away. Have our elected politicians no shame?
But I’m digressing. It’s sometimes hard to focus when there are so many examples of foolish government policy.
Let’s look at more examples of taxpayers getting ripped off.
One such flight was a trip from Washington, D.C., to Brussels, Belgium, which cost $6,612 instead of $863. Similar mission-required upgrades included several flights to Kuwait for $6,911 instead of $1,471, a flight from D.C. to Tokyo for $7,234 instead of $1,081 and a trip from D.C. to Paris for $6,037 instead of $477. …NASA employees also racked up a long list of flights that cost 26, 72 and even 112 times the cost of coach fares, according to Examiner calculations. Several space agency employees flew from Oslo, Norway, to Tromso, Norway – a trip that should have cost $65. Instead, each flew business class for $4,668. Another NASA employee flew from Frankfurt, Germany, to Cologne, Germany, for $6,851 instead of $133, a flight that cost almost 52 times more than the coach fare. …One flight from D.C. to Hanoi, Vietnam, for an informational meeting cost $15,529 instead of $1,649, according to the agency’s 2012 report.
Frankfurt to Cologne for $6851 and a domestic flight in Norway for $4668?!? Did these trips include caviar and a masseuse? Were the planes made of gold?
I do enough international travel to know that these prices are absurd, even if you somehow think bureaucrats should get business class travel (and they shouldn’t).
And as you might suspect, much of the travel was for wasteful boondoggles.
Department of the Interior employees, for example, flew to such exotic locations as Costa Rica, Denmark, Japan and South Africa in 2012. …The Department of Labor sent employees to places like Vietnam and the Philippines for “informational meetings,” conferences and site visits.