$30 Million per Day

May 9, 2013

My friend Jack Flood lives the good life in Vermont. Sometimes, he does get fired up about things, and he’s been known to revert to some pretty salty language when things seem to be getting way out of control.

I say all of that because it was Jack who inspired me to look into this stuff about the “Benghazi Cover-up” that we are now reading and hearing about.

Sorry, Jack, we have to start with some really boring stuff.

The fiscal year for the 2013 U.S. Government began on October 1, 2012 and will end on September 30, 2013.

Total spending approved in this budget is $3.8 Trillion, so the costs to U.S. Taxpayers of just over $5 Billion to support our 535 elected officials who serve in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate is just a drop in the bucket.

This $5 Billion number is way beyond the basic costs of salaries and benefits for our elected officials. It incorporates all of the costs of support staff, office expenses and so forth – what accountants call “fully loaded costs”.

When you look at the approximately 175 days Congress is in session, that $5 Billion annual number breaks down to about $30 Million per day, still just a drop in the bucket of our full $3.8 Trillion Federal budget.

That said: It is this $5 Billion annual investment of taxpayer dollars that we rely on to put in place the checks, balances and controls which we count on to ensure our overall Federal spending is wise, efficient and effective.

Those who are elected to the House of Representatives in the U.S. must be at least 25 years old; Elected Senators must be at least 30 years of age. These folks are adults, by any definition.

Jack asked: Over the past 2 years, what has our Congress accomplished that has any value to U.S. taxpayers?

I agreed to do some research and report back to him.

Frankly, I’m nervous. I’ve watched from the sidelines over the past several years while these elected adult citizens of the U.S. seem to pursue their own petty personal political games.

Jack is particularly interested in a current situation: A Congressional investigation into the tragic attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 which resulted in the deaths of 4 American citizens.

Jack told me that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was called to testify on January 23, 2013 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the deadly assault in Benghazi.

At that apparently friendly, fact-finding hearing on January 23, a newly elected Senator from Wisconsin — Senator Ron Johnson – may have stepped a bit beyond the boundaries of decorum, resulting in an answer from Clinton that has been taken out of context: “What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.”

I’m not sure about that answer. After all, wasn’t her husband almost impeached a few years back?

I plan to contact Kenneth Starr and dig a bit deeper before I agree to consider supporting Jack Flood in his quest to reduce wasteful spending by our elected officials in Washington.

2 Responses to “$30 Million per Day”

  1. Dave Raynor said

    Not sure where the Walrus is going with this one…

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