Disgraceful. Just disgraceful.
Congressional junkets – paid for by lobbyists – are on the rise again. On hundreds of “fact finding” trips, congressmen and women and their aides and families and girlfriends and boyfriends find facts such as where the best beaches are and which luxury hotels have the fluffiest pillows.
It’s a privileged existence. And yet for some reason the congressmen still expect hard working taxpayers to kick in with generous public salaries and pensions on top of everything they get from their corporate sponsors. Are we to suppose that the special interests represented by lobbyists can’t afford to support congress in an appropriate lifestyle without yet another federal subsidy?
Last year the lobbyists came up with $6 million worth of junkets that we know about, plus whatever goes on in the dark. In exchange, we can be sure the special interests are getting $6 billion in benefits sneaked through congress – or $60 billion; who really knows? So why can’t they afford to pay their captive legislators a living wage?
There ought to be a law. If lobbyists insist on shaping the government to their own liking, they shouldn’t be asking for handouts from working Americans to subsidize their congressional payroll.
Admittedly, state legislators, especially the dumb ones, are worth much less to the lobbyists – no big military contracts, interstate highways, or free oil and gas leases – so they should be corruptible at less expense. Perhaps a lower minimum bribe could be allowed for ridiculously stupid, sanctimonious, flagrantly crooked creationist zombie state legislators (for certification, just get one to open his mouth).
You get what you pay for. Clearly, in one form or another, it’s time to raise the Minimum Bribe.
Let’s give corruption a chance to work.