Monday, July 16, 2012


From AlterNet:

Though they campaigned on a platform of reducing the deficit and ridding wasteful spending, more than a half-dozen Tea Party congressmen have collectively spent over $100,000 in taxpayer money on personal vehicles.

ThinkProgress examined spending records for the 112th Congress and found seven GOP freshmen — Reps. Chip Cravaack (R-MN), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Bill Flores (R-TX), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), and Steve Womack (R-AR) — who had spent an average of $15,000 on cars for themselves. All together, their taxpayer bill totaled $106,643.

More here.

As the article observes, this is entirely legal, but it does starkly illustrate that elected representatives of the Tea Party point of view have absolutely no problem with helping themselves to taxpayer dollars, just as long as it personally benefits them, and not all those other lazy, filthy, shiftless, welfare recipients and what not. I mean, what's wrong with driving your own car and paying for the maintenance yourself, you know, like most people do? Really, this is part of a more wide-ranging problem with Congressional perks, but it becomes poignant when you factor in Tea Party outrage over taxes being "redistributed."

I've heard somewhat similar conservative arguments: if you don't like the oil industry, then why are you driving a car? Well, I drive a car because public transit is shitty, uses fossil fuels anyway, and I'm poor and need to work: economically handicapping myself does nothing to change the problem. But this isn't the same thing. These are fucking Congressmen, who have the power to do something about tax dollars, and went to Congress in the first place for that very purpose. Going to town on your official personal transportation budget at the taxpayer's expense is beyond hypocrisy. It means you have contempt for your own political position.

And that's the rub here. As Chris Hayes keeps pointing out on his MSNBC show, it's not really all about big government/small government; rather, it's about who benefits and who pays. The conservatives want the benefits for themselves and they want everybody else to pay for it. But they hide that reality with their bullshit about saving money.

They don't want to save money. They want to spend it. Actually, they want to spend your money. Fucking assholes.