Flight of fancy

I really enjoy traveling.  Exploring new cities, seeing new sites, experiencing different cultures.  Sometimes my travel is for business while other times it is simply for fun.  And it doesn’t have to be someplace exotic like Thailand or Argentina.  While I love being at both of those places, cities and regions here in the States can be just as fun.  For instance, I could visit Washington D.C. a hundred times and never get bored.  Regardless, traveling is a lot of fun and I enjoy being on the road.  Occasionally…..

Now, getting there is often referred to as “half the fun.” Now, if standing in long lines, being groped, crammed in a tiny seat, and lots of waiting…  Lots of waiting…

But I deal with it as does the high percentage of people who fly commercial airlines.  Of course I always feel the glare of the First Class and Business Class passengers as I make up part of the cattle herd to back of the plane.  So I make my way to the back, wedge myself in the seat, and do my best to go to sleep.  When I have trouble sleeping, I imagine I’m in freshman lit and promptly nod off.

But wait, this is supposed to be about government waste, not your ramblin’ missives on air travel.

Here’s the area rug that ties it all together.

What I thought were glares from the uber-successful simply looking down on the unwashed masses was actually the contempt of useless IG employees improperly traveling in the lap of luxury.

The GAO (http://gao.gov/) calculated that from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006, federal employees spent $146 million on improper upgrades to First and Business class.  Wow…  That’s a lot of money to spend on some government weasel just to be comfortable while flying somewhere.  

In Other News of the Ironic, as people like me made the conscience decision to fly Coach because I wanted to save the money and spend it wisely elsewhere, a government lackey was taking my own money and flying in comfort.  So I still didn’t save the money AND I traveled in the relative discomfort of Coach.

Who’s the elite class now?

One consistent theme, other than using the force of law to confiscate my hard earned dollars and wasting them on really, really stupid thing, is the answer…

 GAO noted that the $230 million spent on premium-class flights accounted for less than 1 percent of the cost of all federal government flights during the period. So the overcharges themselves amounted to less than 1 percent of the total spent on federal airline travel.”

Here’s the thing, 1% of the total IG budget is $32 billion.  That’s a lot of money.  I mean a lot.  How about we start by reducing our budget by 1%.  Then by 2%.  Then by, well you get the picture.

So, the next time you fly, look at the government wastoids in First Class and think about how wasteful the IG is when it comes to spending YOUR money.

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