Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Joe Wilson, Living Large on the Taxpayers' Dime!

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Joe Wilson, Republican Representative to Congress from South Carolina, is best known for his bad manners.  He is the cracker who yelled "You lie!" at President Obama as he was addressing a joint session of Congress.   (Wilson, a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, apparently just felt the need to try to embarrass his commander-in-chief.  Woe be unto the subordinate who ever tried to pull a cheap stunt like that on Joe!)

But now it is starting to look like Pious Joe may have more going for him than just a big mouth and a propensity toward impoliteness.  It seems he is the subject of an ethics investigation in Congress regarding how he has been fleecing taxpayers during his numerous trips abroad on the public dime.

Joe likes to travel, and he likes to shop. It turns out that he has been buying souvenirs and paying for them out of his per diem - money allotted by Congress for meals - money that should have been returned to the treasury if Joe was unable to swallow and digest it.  Joe knew the  rules, and he was cheating the system.

Yeah, that's not crime-of-the-century stuff.  The real outrage is in the amount of traveling that he does at public expense.   Joe Wilson has spent over $100,000 in itemized deductions of his international jaunts, and that doesn't cover the cost of the transportation itself - transportation that is provided by the U.S. military on military aircraft - aircraft, and personnel to man the aircraft, that could probably be  used more productively elsewhere.

McClatchy reports that Joe Wilson is number 29 in the current House of Representatives out of 435 total when it comes to personal spending.  But it gets even worse:  when compared to all 730 members who have served in the House since 1994, the year Wilson went to Congress, High Dollar Joe comes in at an amazing #39!  He is the 39th biggest spender out of all 730 members who have served since 1994!

How's that for fiscal responsibility?

And on top of all that, there is his salary as a sitting Congressman and his military pay for being a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves!

Nice work if you can get it, eh Joe?

Joe Wilson may not be a liar, though I have no way of proving that he isn't - but Joe Wilson is a national embarrassment, and a damned expensive one at that!

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