Perception in Politics is Reality: Congressional Retreats Cause Backlash
At a time when Americans are being lectured by the President of the United States and Congress and being asked to pay trillions in taxpayer dollars for bailouts and stimulus should congress be using taxpayer fund for lavish retreats???
After all the attacks on the business world for bonuses, retreats, and getaways should congress practice what they preach, don’t they realize that perception in politics is reality and maybe using public funds in this way isn’t the wisest choice… or is this just more do as I say not as I do?
Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in Congress left town for their annual retreat at Kingsmill Resort and Spa in nearby Williamsburg, Va., which offers “unforgettable golf, luxurious accommodations… and an abundance of recreational opportunities.”The three-day retreat is part of an annual tradition enjoyed by both parties in Congress — an opportunity to bring families, take off their jackets and relax as they plan their agenda for the coming year.
In fact, last weekend the Republicans took off for their retreat at the Homestead, a historic luxury resort “nestled within the four-season splendor of the Allegheny Mountains” in Hot Springs, Va.
But with millions of Americans out of work and the economy in meltdown, and with President Obama blasting Wall Street executives for their excesses, some watchdog groups are questioning the venture.
As Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) told Politico.com:
Having a retreat can be a reasonable good thing, and members aren’t going to stay at the Motel 6. Nevertheless, under these economic circumstances, they shouldn’t be at overly expensive resorts … It’s more than a little disingenuous to holler about AIG’s lavish retreat when members –- who after being asleep at the switch also bear some responsibility for the crisis –- then hold lavish retreats of their own.
Democrats spent $100,000.00 of taxpayer cash on their retreat and the Republicans spent 1/2 of that or $50,000.00.
I can easily see the benefit of these types of gatherings, beside being a tradition, I think it’s good for members to fraternize outside of Washington DC in a more relaxed setting but why couldn’t these trips be fully funded by PAC money and privet funds instead of using taxpayers money for portions of these trips like travel and the like?
I think government should lead by example especially In this time of economic slow down unfortunately in my short time on this planet I’ve yet to see that practice in earnest.