Cynical Synapse

Wed, 12 Aug 2009

Congressional Double Standard Grounded for Once

Filed under: Behavior, Budget, Congress, Economy, Flying, Government, Hypocrits, Politics — cynicalsynapse @ 7:07 am

Last fall members of the House Financial Services Committee berated the Big 3 CEOs for their private jets. In his roast, Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) said “There’s a delicious irony of seeing private luxury jets flying into DC, and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hands, saying that they’re going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses.” Then, early this year CitiGroup planned to buy new corporate jets. Public outcry caused the Treasury Department to pressure Citi to cancel the jets’ order.

Here’s the disgusting irony, Mr. Ackerman. The House ordered 3 more corporate jets than the Air Force said it needs. They did this just months after blasting automakers and Wall Street for the very same thing. Now, in the big scheme of things, this added cost of $550 million demonstrates earmarks are alive and well and Congress has no intention of reigning in their spendthrift ways. How about walking the talk, Mr. Ackerman? In case you don’t remember, here’s what you said to the Big 3 CEOs:

Couldn’t you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled to get here? It would have at least sent the message that you do get it.

Since Congress isn’t in session, apparently the spinmeisters must be on vacation as well. Not finding a way to adequately defend this particular wastral move, House leaders withdrew the added jets. I suspect this wasn’t out of respect for their constituents. Rather, it’s more likely House leaders realized the luxury jets didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in making it through the Senate. The charlatans continue their smoke and mirrors.

A case can be made the jets will eventually be ordered to replace older aircraft in the fleet. It can also be claimed the new planes are more efficient and less costly than the older ones. The problem with that goes back to something else Rep. Ackerman said to GM CEO Rick Wagoner.

Wagoner’s private jet trip to Washington cost his ailing company an estimated $20,000 roundtrip. In comparison, seats on Northwest Airlines flight 2364 from Detroit to Washington were going online for $288 coach and $837 first class.

I wonder the same thing Mr. Ackerman zapped the Big 3 with. Why can’t our elected representatives travel like their constituents, using commercial flights?



  1. This issue represents one of the largest growing problem with our elected officials of this country. For decades they have believed they should not be required to live by the same standards and rules the remainder of us live by — many that they have placed upon us. Just look at the goodies they have. They believe they should not be expected to lower their standards even when the rest of the country is falling apart. Your point about Gary Ackerman being two-faced and hypocritical is so right. Speaking with forked tongue is exactly why people of America stay confused, which is their objective. Our lawmakers have adopted a standard of “changing with the winds”, depending on what they want. It’s the old adage — ‘one set of rule for me and a different set for you’.

    Comment by The Old Man — Wed, 12 Aug 2009 @ 9:40 am

  2. I call it the Soylent Green syndrome. The gap between us and them is getting bigger and bigger just like the separation of the wealthy and the masses in the movie.

    Comment by cynicalsynapse — Wed, 12 Aug 2009 @ 11:35 am

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