Which Candidate Do You Support in the Republican Primaries?
Investigation by Adam Andrzejewski originally published by RealClearInvestigations.com and RealClearWire.com
In 1975, Congress expanded, hiring more staffers for the Senate and House, and more space in new buildings, costing the taxpayer $108 million — $618 million in 2023 dollars — earning Congress a Golden Fleece award in June of that year.
Sen. William Proxmire, a Democrat from Wisconsin, awarded the administration for its wasteful and nonsensical spending, eventually handing out 168 Golden Fleece Awards between 1975 and 1988.
The award was given to Congress “for living high off the hog while much of the rest of the country is suffering economic disaster,” Proxmire wrote in 1975.
In its self-indulgent spending spree, the Senate approved the addition of up to three new committee staff employees per senator at $34,000 each salary — almost $195,000 in 2023. While Proxmire assumed not all senators would use their allotment adding up to $10 million, he estimated they would spend between $4 million and $6 million.
Earlier in the year, the House of Representatives increased expense allowances for equipment, travel, newsletters, phones and more by $23,000 per member, for a total of $10 million.
The House also added another 735 staff positions, costing a minimum of $6 million.
Of course, with all this new staff, they needed more space, so the Senate began constructing a third office building at a price tag of $85 million.
“The ultimate congressional absurdity is the $1.3 million the House will spend to automate 19 elevators but retain the operators to run them,” Proxmire said. The House was following the lead of the Senate, which already had automatic elevators in the Dirksen Office Building but kept their elevator operators.
“Congress owes it to the public to live simply,” Proxmire said. “In their prerequisites and style of living, Senators and Congressmen should not be too far removed from the trials and tribulations of the average citizen whom they represent.”
By Adam Andrzejewski – The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com
This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.