Saturday, May 30, 2009

Taxpayers Buy Rep. William Jefferson a New Laptop

Not to be outdone by their British counterparts, it appears that members of the US Congress have been engaging in their own little brand of "perk expensing". According to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, the last weeks of 2008 saw a parabolic spike in the dollar amount of Congressional expense reimbursement statements. Apparently, each member of Congress is given an exorbitantly high expense budget each year so that they will not have to face undue financial burdens, and thus can focus on the task of making this country's laws. The catch is, unused yet budgeted expense money can not be rolled over to the next calendar year, incentivizing members of Congress to "spend it or lose it".That the practice is legal does not mean it is acceptable. We have grown tired of members of Congress standing at the lectern and micro-lambasting every aspect of American business.(Not that it doesn't deserve to be micro-lambasted, the previous point was delivered in the spirit of "don't throw glass stones in a glass house")

Most egregious of all, in our opinion, were the actions of former Rep.William Jefferson (D-LA). According to official documents, the taxpayer has purchased Mr. Jefferson a $2793 Toshiba Toughbook laptop. Now, we are all for technological literacy within Congress( we don't think much exists currently), but seriously, this is the same man who was caught with $90,000 of cash in his freezer. How in the world can a member of Congress be caught with that kind of money in his freezer(of all places), and still retain the audacity to charge the taxpayer for an overpriced "Toughbook" that isn't even designed for old men in Congress?

The consensus of historians as to the reason for the fall of the Roman Empire, is that Rome was not overwhelmed by external enemies, but rather that it crumbled from within. Sphere: Related Content

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