Why Arenâ€™t You Screaming?
By: Patti Bankson
We need an early warning system in our governments to warn of an imminent catastrophe. I used to believe our elected â€œrepresentativesâ€ would do that, but then, I used to believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause, too. Unfortunately, those two are looking more real and reliable than our governments.
This summer Gov. Christ (R-Fl) went to Europe on a 12-day business development trip. His part of the trip was paid for by business executives who went with him. Sounds good… at least taxpayers didnâ€™t foot the bill. BUT! Arenâ€™t there politicians out of office and/or in prison for this kind of thing? And, isnâ€™t there supposed to be some kind of monetary limit to these â€œgiftsâ€? Can you say, â€œNo! Ho! Ho!â€? And, â€œWHATâ€? when you hear how much he spent? $2,179 per night for his London hotel suite. $8,000 for round-trip air (another huge â€œgiftâ€ from a Miami travel agency)… more than $1,300 for minibar and room service. And hereâ€™s the best: apparently the poor guy overheats when giving speeches so he spent $320.00 on fans to keep him cool, and looking picture-perfect… you know, not sweaty.
Oh, wait I forgot to mention only the Governorâ€™s costs were not paid by taxpayers. But, we did pay A LOT for this trip. See, although it was a business trip, I guess he didnâ€™t want to go alone, so he took the love of his life, a photographer to take pictures of him looking tan and terrific… not sweating, of course… four aides (he needs lots of help when he travels), two agency heads, a spokeswoman (in case he had a statement to make while his mouth was full of caviar and champagne and he couldnâ€™t speak for himself) and… who would consider a trip without them?… nine bodyguards. Of course, their expenses had to be taken care of, too… and again, we, the taxpayers, generously paid for them. Their hotels, meals, transportation and incidentals came to $148,000. Incidentally $630 of their incidentals was for dry cleaning alone. Oh… and canâ€™t forget that Gerald Bailey, FDLE Commissioner also went, worked hard… less than 12 hours, actually… and we, the taxpayers, compensated him to the tune of $5,135.
Hereâ€™s something closer to home to be outraged about. While people are wondering how to keep their homes, feed their families, keep themselves healthy when they canâ€™t afford medical care, much less insurance, Apopkaâ€™s city employees, including commissioners, will soon be able to go to their own â€œno-costâ€ clinic, without taking sick time, will get â€œfreeâ€ prescriptions, and tests. Hel-lo! â€œNo-Costâ€. â€œFree Prescriptionsâ€?? Who made this decision? And when did someone ask us… the taxpayers… if we wanted to pay for all that? And what about those â€œparty housesâ€ someone wrote about? I havenâ€™t heard a peep, much less proof, out of anyone to confirm or deny the allegation. Even if I wanted to let that one slide (which I donâ€™t) this No-cost and free stuff… our tax dollars at work? While weâ€™re being threatened with less fire and police protection, poorer- than-they-already-are schools, no new roads… come on, people! There should be a collective scream in the air. I hear nothing. Not from you. Not from our government.
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Â© 2008 Patti Bankson
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