Respect for taxpayer’s money, or lack thereof

Much ado has been made regarding the expense accounts of Congress on their little Copenhagen escapade. It seems that global warming has raised the price of hotel rooms to a whopping $2000 per night, according to a report by CBS (via HotAir):

Thanks to recently filed Congressional expense reports there’s new light shed on the Copenhagen Climate Summit in Denmark and how much it cost taxpayers.

CBS News Investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports official filings and our own investigation show at least 106 people from the House and Senate attended – spouses, a doctor, a protocol expert and even a photographer.

For 15 Democratic and 6 Republican Congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,406 tax dollars each. That’s $2,200 a day – more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgage payment.

All in all, this little fiasco has cost the US taxpayers over a million dollars. And while plenty of people are asking, rightly so, why Congress had to send a delegation when they have no say in the matter, to me it’s a matter of respect.

These people have no respect for your money.

You are the one paying for this. Maybe it’s important, maybe it’s not. We elect our representatives trusting that they’ll know what to spend our money on. But isn’t it fair that they’ll be considerate of the fact that they’re using our money?

The article talks about Congressmen being surprised that it cost so much. Did they not care? Did their staff not care? Did none of them even think to bring up the fact that the prices were absurd? That $2200 is more than some people earn in a month? Did none of them think it worth their while to protest, or to get a better deal?

Why did Nancy Pelosi outright refuse to respond to CBS queries? Does she think she doesn’t owe her employers an explanation?

And why were there so many spouses and family members taking the trip on the taxpayer’s dime??? Isn’t this against the rules? I’m sure Pelosi will be on this… oh wait, her spouse was one of them.

Again, respect. Or lack thereof. If I’m spending my own money, then the only one I have to answer to is myself. But if someone else is paying me to go on a business trip, then I should be darn sure I can justify every penny to them if I have to. Heck, personally I feel guilty for even food expenses, on the basis that I have to eat no matter where I am. I don’t expect Congresscritters to stay at the local Econolodge, but a little concern for their expense accounts would be nice. Because if they’re not going to care what they spend when they travel, can we expect them to be respectful of the billions upon billions of dollars in the rest of the budget?

*Looks at the deficit* OK, that was a stupid question.


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