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by Pearl Hahn 

Recession or not, government spending abounds, as evidenced by Mayor Hannemann’s recent $10,000 televised speech promoting rail transit. As of June of last year, the city had already spent about $2.6 million in taxpayer money on rail promotion. Perhaps Hannemann is practicing wasteful spending for future Congressional ambitions.

This week, the Washington Times reported that Steny H. Hoyer, current House Majority Leader, racked up a $5,380 bill at a Maryland banquet hall, feasting on chicken cordon bleu, parsleyed red potatoes, and green beans- and had taxpayers foot the bill. The dinner was part of a women’s networking fair. Representative Mark Kirk of Illionois spent $28,410 on a newsletter, which his spokesman justified on the grounds of being used to “communicate with constituents”. Someone should tell him that leaving his office door open is free.

TARP funds have been used to recover lost crab pots, for trips to Africa, Che Guevara concerts, and blue tubes in front of a high school (hat tip to Danny de Gracia of the Filipino Chronicle)

Not to worry, we Americans are not alone. Across the pond, members of British Parliament are experiencing backlash for various expenses they recouped from taxpayer funds. One member demanded reimbursement for the cost of cleaning a moat surrounding his mansion ($3,000). Another had billed the public to fix a toilet seat ($320). The most notorious expense included reimbursement for porn films (cost unknown).

British police continue to investigate and may bring on charges of fraud and false accounting. As more examples of outrageous spending by American lawmakers come to light, it’s time to wonder when any of them will face any charges and be put behind bars.