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George Jung
08-09-2009, 10:17 AM
Caught Meet the Press this AM - Bob Schieffer was talking about the 'extra' four private jets the House has ordered - they've enjoyed a ten-fold increase in out of country travel over the last decade, for 'fact finding missions' - at our expense.

We're in a recession, told to tighten our belts - and these yahoos are living high on the hog. The Pentagon has indicated there is no need for these airplanes (an extra billion?) - these planes are in addition to the ones that were recommended, to replace and expand an aging fleet.

I've written my congress Rep., be interesting to see what the Blue Dogs say.

George Roberts
08-09-2009, 10:30 AM
Since Mr. Obama was critical of CEOs using private planes to conduct business, one should expect that he will chastise the House.

Captain Blight
08-09-2009, 11:02 AM
Caught Meet the Press this AM - Bob Schieffer was talking about the 'extra' four private jets the House has ordered - they've enjoyed a ten-fold increase in out of country travel over the last decade, for 'fact finding missions' - at our expense.

We're in a recession, told to tighten our belts - and these yahoos are living high on the hog. The Pentagon has indicated there is no need for these airplanes (an extra billion?) - these planes are in addition to the ones that were recommended, to replace and expand an aging fleet.

I've written my congress Rep., be interesting to see what the Blue Dogs say.Well. It seems to me you're complaining about your elected officials doing what they're supposed to do, which is represent you.

The first duty any nation has is the protection of its citizenry. The first duty for protection is accurate intelligence. There is no substitute for information gathered firsthand, by people on the ground. So when a group of Congressmen flies somewhere to see what's up, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Or are you saying that it's not the travel you object to, but the luxury? Because i can kind of get behind that. They can lease a couple 727s for a long time for the kind of money 4 new G550s cost. But the travel, and the fact-finding missions? I welcome them as evidence (warrented or not) that our elected officials our doing their jobs.

George Jung
08-09-2009, 11:19 AM
If you're familiar with the story, you'll note there was no call for curtailing these 'fact-finding' junkets - and in fact, while noting how much more travel was taking place (3000 days last year), the gist was - the Pentagon had determined the number/type of planes necessary to meet expected demands, and budgeted the money necessary to replace the fleet - but the House ordered an additional four private jets, in addition to those recommended.
I also believe there are probably better, much more efficient ways to gather facts, than to have a bunch of lawyers /politicians flying around the world, taking first-hand notes for themselves. Have you some references you might point to that suggest otherwise? I do believe folks have made careers out of just such skills. It's a stretch to suggest sending our deliberating body to do the legwork themselves, is a better option - though I suppose some might argue that an expatriate congressman is the best congressman.

Captain Blight
08-09-2009, 11:28 AM
How about if they get the planes, but only the Christian Republicans get to use them.

George Jung
08-09-2009, 11:33 AM
One way trips, Blight? You ought to try being conservative, not so damned flamboyant.

The obvious option is one way tickets. Sheesh! I gotta learn ya on everything?

LeeG
08-09-2009, 12:12 PM
George, according to the article the increase of ten fold has been since 1995. The largest jumps in '06-'08. 44% of the flights are military use, I assume flying generals and such around. 42% has been for the administration and 14% for Congress.
Ok,,what has happened in the last eight or so years that sent the cost of these trips from $4million to $12million? Let's see,,90% of these trips is military and administration and huge increase happend between 2002 and 2008. Was the US doing anything of a military nature in that time period that you think 15% of a travel budget might go towards? Damn,,that's a real hard question isn't it? Maybe two wars has something to do with it,,nahhhhh.

Seems to me we got another plea for reducing Congressional oversight since the cost equivalent of a couple Black hawks is too onerous. Hey, maybe one of the many corporate military firms that the gov't is paying 100's millions to could take over the job. Who wants the Air Force or Marines devoting 15% of it's travel budget to the Congress when Blackwater/Xe or Triple Canopy could do it sooooo much cheaper.

Anywho, look at who had the majority in Congress from 1995 to 2006 and the K street debacle. Does it make ANY sense for Congressional travel to drop in the middle of two wars when the biggest one came as a result of no oversight.

just askin'

Captain Blight
08-09-2009, 12:14 PM
Thanks, Lee, I was going to make that point but the words were just not there for a minute.

LeeG
08-09-2009, 12:28 PM
Capn, the stories about Congressional waste have marketability but it's hysterical to look at the context. In 2002 Congress rolls over for invading Iraq, the incestuous K street projects flourished under Republican leadership in the prior ten years. In 2002 the administration authorized the insanely expensive helicoptor program for the Prez and whoever else needs them, they roll over for invading Iraq, we're knee deep in two wars where no end of bs was coming out of Iraq but the 15% allocation that Congress uses is too much. Suposedly Congressional travel expenses should stay flat while Military and Executive costs goes up in a time of war and a time of wildly fluctuating fuel costs.

Obama cuts a $11billion helicoptor boondoggle authorized under Bush and a 15% $15million travel budget for Congress is an item for outrage.

Someone needs to be slapped silly

George Jung
08-09-2009, 04:47 PM
Interesting, LeeG. Perhaps you can explain what possible benefit Schieffer et al might expect, then? It's a bipartisan 'problem' which, to hear you, isn't a problem. Where's the pay off?

And perhaps you can expand on the 'extra' four private jets the House ordered - four more than the Pentagon seemed to think were needed? You apparently know more about this topic - what gives?

Paul Girouard
08-09-2009, 05:01 PM
Someone needs to be slapped silly



Humm, are you the same guy who two days ago or so said I should stop personal attacks or some such B/S?

Who ya gonna slap silly? And generally Capt. Blights in charge for LW bitch slapping, Keith's in charge of graphs, Norm's in charge of bring up subjects , John Smith's got clearing up thats he's NOT a partisan hack. The list goes on.............

George Jung
08-09-2009, 05:44 PM
Obama cuts a $11billion helicoptor boondoggle authorized under Bush and a 15% $15million travel budget for Congress is an item for outrage.

Make that $500 million - reportedly, the cost of the additional jets. Might want to check your sources, as well, LeeG. Perhaps..... unlikely, I know... but perhaps you're mistaken on this one. And I'd note - you're good at slinging those numbers around, but I don't recall a reference. Where are you pulling these numbers from?

George Jung
08-10-2009, 08:30 AM
Looks like this one is (finally) hitting the Big News fan (they are slow, eh?). $500 million extra (over and above the requested budget) for 8 luxury G5 gulfstreams. $6000/hr to fly; plush, very plush! I couldn't tell capacity, but looks limited (?8 or so passengers?). The news guy was familiar - 'lap of luxury' was his phrase.

Fascinating that you folks feel it's okay for Congress to give themselves these kinds of gifts - as long as they keep an eye on those who are abusing the system! :p:D

Sounds like this one, exposed to the light of day, may not pass after all. Congresscritters are distancing themselves from this as fast as they can. I'd sure like to know who was responsible for proposing this in the first place. Anyone know? Their lips are moving, so you know they're lying - again.

John Smith
08-10-2009, 12:54 PM
It's very much a bipartisan phenomenon... and long before this particular issue came up, there was a great deal of coverage of how the Republicans abused the private jet thing while they were in power. Dennis Hastert, in particular, was said to have demanded a Gulfstream jet every weekend for travel back to his home:

Not true. After 9/11, Bush issued an executive order that the speaker of the house, third in line for the presidency, be given a private plane for commuting between his home district and DC.

When Pelosi became speaker, there was great uproar over her getting a larger plane for this purpose. Fact is, she has further to fly and needed a plane with longer range.

There are several planes at the president's disposal. Seems one of them could be made available, with prior arrangements, for congressional trips to places where we have active troops, anyway.

[color=blue]Is this the post of a partisan hack?[/blue]

George Jung
08-10-2009, 08:22 PM
Fascinating that you folks feel it's okay for Congress to give themselves these kinds of gifts - as long as they keep an eye on those who are abusing the system! :p:D

Sounds like this one, exposed to the light of day, may not pass after all. Congresscritters are distancing themselves from this as fast as they can. I'd sure like to know who was responsible for proposing this in the first place. Anyone know? Their lips are moving, so you know they're lying - again.


Hmmm... that's strange... I didn't see ANYONE here, conservative or liberal, endorsing the idea of buying all those jets.

But it's hard to resist typecasting, I guess.


Capn, the stories about Congressional waste have marketability but it's hysterical to look at the context. In 2002 Congress rolls over for invading Iraq, the incestuous K street projects flourished under Republican leadership in the prior ten years. In 2002 the administration authorized the insanely expensive helicoptor program for the Prez and whoever else needs them, they roll over for invading Iraq, we're knee deep in two wars where no end of bs was coming out of Iraq but the 15% allocation that Congress uses is too much. Suposedly Congressional travel expenses should stay flat while Military and Executive costs goes up in a time of war and a time of wildly fluctuating fuel costs.

Obama cuts a $11billion helicoptor boondoggle authorized under Bush and a 15% $15million travel budget for Congress is an item for outrage.

Someone needs to be slapped silly

Perhaps I misread LeeG.; it appears to me he's endorsing the Congress' plan for these much needed planes. (And btw - still waiting to hear how LeeG got $15 million from that $550 million project. Must be the new math. But you know... that's just typecasting, right?)

Shang
08-10-2009, 08:53 PM
Since Mr. Obama was critical of CEOs using private planes to conduct business, one should expect that he will chastise the House.

No, that wasn't President Obama, it was Representative Gary Ackerman, D-New York, speaking to the chief executive officers of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee in November, 2008.

George Jung
08-10-2009, 10:03 PM
I caught a blip on the evening news about who was responsible for this legislation - turns out (at least one of) the representatives hails from California (are we broke yet?), but wait, it gets better - he was (one of) the representatives who was so critical of the auto execs. flying in on their private jets. I don't recall the name or the party he hails from (does it really matter?) but he appears just a bit hypocritical. He didn't look too happy about his fifteen minutes of fame.

Cuyahoga Chuck
08-10-2009, 10:13 PM
Sen. Claire McCaskill (Dem. Missouri) is already talking about spiking that bill and it is not beyond reason that it could be done.

BrianW
08-10-2009, 11:01 PM
Hmmm... that's strange... I didn't see ANYONE here, conservative or liberal, endorsing the idea of buying all those jets.

Well for whatever reason, LeeG is playing the YWWAB card to the hilt.

Can't know why, if he's not for the expenditure.

Paul Girouard
08-10-2009, 11:14 PM
Hmmm... that's strange... I didn't see ANYONE here, conservative or liberal, endorsing the idea of buying all those jets.

But it's hard to resist typecasting, I guess.



You might re-read posts #'s 4,5,8, 9,&10. They all seem to support the purchase.

I'd guess the folks at Gulf-stream, and any subcontractors they hire may also be looking forward to the purchase.

It in ways would make up for some of the losses they incurred due to the auto exec. flare-up. And the resulting sale of thier, Exec's, jets. If they really did sell them, maybe to G/S if there was a buyer they still get a to maintain the A/C, if they ever had a maintenance contract?

It least that had a sniff , (well until the auto companies took the cash :rolleyes: dumb-arse move IMO,) of normal trickled down economics.

High C
08-11-2009, 12:37 AM
Hmmm... that's strange... I didn't see ANYONE here, conservative or liberal, endorsing the idea of buying all those jets.

But it's hard to resist typecasting, I guess.

Perhaps this thread will provide you the types you seek.

http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=100678

George Jung
08-11-2009, 12:39 PM
Hmm... all I hear is crickets....

Tom Montgomery
08-11-2009, 02:21 PM
My guess is they figured the cost savings in eliminating the F-22 program makes up for the expense of purchasing and operating four additional passenger jets.

George Jung
08-11-2009, 06:39 PM
I didn't hear about that; evening news, perhaps? Last I heard, this one was being pronounced....

Tom Montgomery
08-11-2009, 07:00 PM
NBC reported this evening that the House Democrats have dropped the proposal to purchase the additional aircraft. Evidently they got an earful from their constituents.