Posted: 5:24 pm Monday, May 12th, 2014

About John Barrow’s bill to require Congress to fly coach 

By Jim Galloway

Yes, it’s an election-year gimmick. And no, it has no chance of passing.

Still, it may be the best, and most shameless, name for a bill since – well, since ever: “If Our Military Has to Fly Coach Then so Should Congress Act” (H.R. 4632).

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, who may not know the identity of his GOP opposition until July, is one of the four authors. (Two are Republicans.)

Writes Barrow about the IOMHTFCTSSCA:

“It’s not enough to give lip service to cutting wasteful spending — we should set a good example. And not spending other people’s money on first class travel is a good place to start.”

But only a start. Next up:

“If I Have to Drive a Car With 250,000 Miles, a Cracked Side Mirror, And Kid Goo On The Seats, Then So Should Congress Act.”

55 comments
MasonBurdette
MasonBurdette

Congress in general is opposed to campaign spending reform (they love the free flow of money) or anything that might make them truly experience the common mans plight.  They love their perks (Congressional gym, restaurant, chauffeurs) all of which makes them out of touch with John Q. Public.  The disparity between the ultra wealthy and most Americans is now the widest in the history of the US.  Mostly Republicans want to see this trend continue and will do anything to protect the wealthy at the cost of those struggling in life.  The obstructionism in Congress is deplorable; the Republican Party is broken; it's all broken.  Praying for a better future for ALL Americans and for each of us to do our part to ensure the lifting of all mankind.    

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

This is a pretty stupid bill.  If Congress is supposed to descriptively representative of the population then reform the political system.  And I don't know that is a good idea.  We need smarter-than-average people in office...and believe it or not most of them are very smart.  They might sound stupid...but only because their target audience is their primary election base and donors.


I agree that Congress should only foot the bill for coach and MCs (members of Congress) can pay to upgrade with their own money, but it really is an election year gimmick.  

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

No matter how you slice this up, Barrow is still a member of the Democrat party whereby any member has to take marching orders from Nanny Pelosi and ultimately Hairy Read. The bottom line is this: do you wish to pay higher taxes at all levels of gov't? Do you wish to give up the freedom of choosing your own doctors or if you wish to have insurance or not? Do you wish to give up your weapons cache and be told by gov't where and when to carry your own weapons? As a businessman, do you wish to have gov't confiscate your hard-earned dollar$ to redistribute them to deadbeats on the street? Do you wish to have gov't regulate you do death? If so, then vote for this bum of a Democrat who tries to look Republican, but ultimately, this Socialist-Democrat has to play by party rules. Do not be fooled, folks: it is time to send this Democrat with a bad Republican jacket back home WHEREVER THAT HOME IS! RIGHT? Who's with me on these facts? Get off your duffs, Augusta and tell your neighbors that a real Republican NEEDS to run that district and TO TAKE OUR GOVERNMENT BACK! Amen, Bill 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Just want the following info out to the public:


"ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling noted that the organization operates more openly in recent years, in part in reaction to critics who cried foul over ALEC members pushing conservative causes, such as limiting environmental regulations or penalties for violations, traced back to the group's corporate and foundation backers.


Only legislators can submit proposed ALEC bills to a task force, he said, and the group now posts those proposals online before task forces meet. The end product is also posted after the meeting, allowing anyone to trace changes. ALEC also discloses its donors.


Putting all of that on paper, he said, is how critics can spot model legislation in a statehouse or know that ALEC has gotten money from conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the National Rifle Association and corporate giants like Shell, Texaco, Philip Morris and Union Pacific Railroad."


http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/latest/article_2a434773-3037-5446-89f5-9b0a803f8b5d.html


P.S. Georgia's Legislature has the 3rd largest number of ALEC members in the nation, all Republicans (42 in all).

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Like Rush/O'Riley  sounds good to hot heads who talk before thinking or easily talked into a position,  but just don't work well in the real world.

DirtyDawg
DirtyDawg

I can assure you that even if Congress passes this - and it will only mean they will reimbursed at the 'coach' rate - they will simply pay for the upgrade out of their campaign slush-fund, and/or, the airlines will provide automatic upgrades and charge it off as campaign contributions. You see, until we have a complete overhaul of our campaign structure - and especially funding and the elimination of all campaign contributions - they'll just 'keep on keeping on'.

honested
honested

Looking at this from another angle, it traps them with 300 odd other people for at least an hour and a half. A captive audience for the speech of your choice.


Think of the fund raising opportunity.


By the end of a coast to coast flight, everybody on the plane would have gladly ponied up at least ten bucks just to get them to shut up!

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Or, pay the difference out of their paychecks. They can afford it.

Joeleejohnson
Joeleejohnson

I'm already nervous about flying. Corrupting steerage with politicians would ad insult to injury.

Andy123
Andy123

Why should this just be limited to Congress?  Every federal employee, including ones that work in the White House, should have to fly coach unless they pay for upgrades out of their own pockets or points. 

BuckheadBoy
BuckheadBoy

From a practical standpoint, this could actually promote more time wasted in dialing for dollars in order to use campaign funds to displace appropriated funds, and then use those appropriated funds for franking, "debate coaches" and the like. And, the consequence of that would be furthering their reliance upon the influence peddlers, while saving the taxpayers nothing.

Jke
Jke

Linuxfanatic--Well said.

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

This is dumb. Conservative anti-government politics aside (although it should be pointed out that most voters in the south and midwest were very much pro-New Deal big government Democrats until the civil rights bills passed and to this day these Tea Party types still support government programs that benefit THEM like farm bills and MediCare) like it or not, U.S. Congressmen are very accomplished, successful people. They are not like your everyday average Joe. They are not even like your typical upper-middle class person with an MBA who earns $250,000 a year. Getting elected to Congress, even for one term, is quite an accomplishment, puts you in a very select group and you get to wield a ton of power. Denying that is just choosing not to exist in this reality, especially when you take this position just because about half of them adhere to a political party or ideology that you dislike, or if you decide to scapegoat them for such messes as the national debt, too much regulation or (if you are on the left side of the aisle) various groups not having their "rights" and our not spending as much on social programs and public transportation as Europe. 


You fly a plane? Well unless you are a high-powered businessman or CEO, congressmen fly a lot more than you do, and it isn't to visit relatives or to go the beach either. Congressmen have staffs (meaning they hire and fire people), vote on and write legislation, oversee matters relevant to national security and the economy, etc. In other words, they are not like you, even if you think that your B.S. and MBA degrees from UGA and Emory and mansion in Forsyth makes you some big shot (and no, most of you don't even have that).


It is as idiotic as expecting professional athletes to act like regular people too. News flash: they aren't. They have a skill that only a few thousand people on the planet possess, and that makes them more valuable than your industrial engineering degree from Georgia Tech does (and again, most of you do not even have that). The fact that most of them lack the basic socialization and self-control required to properly manage their money and wind up broke within a few years of leaving the game does not change this. The reality is that while they are one of the few thousand people in the NHL, MLB, NBA or NFL, they are in an exclusive club that generates hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Meaning that they are not like you. 


Pretending otherwise may make you feel better about yourself in this Oprah-fied self-esteem/resentment culture, but it doesn't make it true. Let the congressmen fly first class, and just do a better job of electing Congressmen. 

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Hey - we don't want those guys stinking up our domain - they're mostly drunk anyway.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

"Yes, it’s an election-year gimmick. And no, it has no chance of passing."

Will the AJC check and report if he flies like he talks?

(Only if he actually flies coach, since hypocritical Democrats get a pass here.)

NWGAL
NWGAL

If they ride coach, they may actually hear opinions by people who aren't super rich. Good for their souls, as my late momma would say.

OffWithTheirHeads
OffWithTheirHeads

Makes perfectly good sense to me. They deserve no better than I do when traveling. It's my money.

AvailableName
AvailableName

They fly twice a week before and after putting in a tough three day week in D.C.  Frequent flier miles and bumps to first class because of who they are don't take care of the distasteful prospect of sitting with their constituents?

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

LOL

And this is why the  guy keeps winning, to the enduring frustration of the Republicans.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@MasonBurdette  


Not everyone in Congress feels that way though...especially the progressive (truly progressive) Dems.  And I am not trying to be a partisan here.


The least favorite job of MCs is fundraising...the only ones who actually like it are the authoritarians in Congress (people like Tom Price) who get off from being paid by rich people to hurt the working class.


Most MCs do want campaign finance reform, but they know it is a long road and they will be bought out of office for bringing it up.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@Bill OrvisWhite  


That is not how political parties in the United States work.  That might be your experience with the GOP because they trend more in the party discipline direction, but candidate centrism is still a defining feature of congressional politics.


Now to go line by line:


-Congress doesn't dictate state tax levels...and most states including the federal government are undertaxing.

-You have always, and still can, choose your doctor...insurance companies have always, and still do, tell you which ones are in network.

-Right-wing conspiracy...and 90% of America believes in gun control. Not even the founders believed in carrying weapons everywhere.

-It is called taxation, not confiscation. It isn't redistribution either.  Those businesses didn't build the roads, education systems, healthcare infrastructure, defense systems, etc that allow them to have a business in the first place.

-Doesn't happen.

-We only have one socialist in Congress. You really need to study because you are missing simple definitions here.

-You know Barrow is wealthy, right?


So...on your most recent entry you get an E for effort, but an F for content and accuracy.  Go back to school...if you even believe schools should exist.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@DirtyDawg  


And that won't happen. The right-wing, especially the tea-party, has been working to make sure the People have as little say as possible in the elections.  Never has a 'populist' movement been so against the working-class.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@Andy123  And state employees also. I know the little guys don't get to go first class, but the big guys can fly coach. Or they can rent Nathan's plane!

Derwin0
Derwin0

@linuxfanatic  If they want to fly first class, let them pay for the upgrade themselves.  That's what my employer does.  Since we the people are their employers, that's what we should demand.

scrappy-22
scrappy-22

@linuxfanatic What a load of BS.  They have staffs and write legislation, so that makes them better people than the rest of us?  I don't think so... in fact, since most of the legislation they write (or should I say their staff write, or even more likely - lobbyist's write) is horrible, I don't think that should hold them in any high esteem. 


From a practical standpoint, they probably have enough miles to get bumped to first class, and perhaps they should start using those instead of booking first class to begin with (perhaps they do, but I doubt it). Also agree that making them pay for first class on their own would probably just lead to more lobbyist money being sent their way - which is the opposite of what we need to happen in Washington. 


But, saying they are some super important person that deserves flying coach because they have a staff and are busy, and write legislation is pure BS. Is also part of the problem in Washington. Congressmen (and women) already have heads that are too big and believe they are the most important thing. In reality, they work for us, they should more concerned with our beliefs, our time, our busy lives, our tax payer money. Bringing them down to reality would be a good thing.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@linuxfanatic  

Meaning that they are not like you

They put their pants on one leg at a time, just the same as me.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@linuxfanatic One of the many hats I wear is farmer. I have not and will not take a penny from the feds in farm aid. Most of my friends do but I don't think as a nation we can afford these programs and so I am Fed free.

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

@The_Centrist  


As Barrow is a socially liberal actual moderate/centrist, you should like him. You claim to be considering supporting Jason Carter next time around, when Carter is decidedly to the left of Barrow, and Barrow has political, policy and life experience that lucky gene pool club Carter will likely never be able to match. Seriously, you are amazing. 


AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@The_Centrist Did someone mention hypocrisy?  Here is what hypocrisy looks like:  Someone calling themselves 'dah centrist' and asking the AJC to report if Barrow flies coach. Dah centrist ignores the fact that two of the bill's sponsors are repups. Dah centrist doesn't care if the two repuppy sponsors fly coach, he just wants to verify if the Dem flies coach.You would think a real centrist would want the AJC to check up on all the bill's sponsors.

It shows his/her lack of integrity and ethics, it also shows how far at least this one wingnut  will go with such "debate" tactics and those who won't condemn them.

Now, where have I read that before?

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

This is a screen name stealing liberal sock puppet.  While it shows his/her lack of integrity and ethics, it also shows how far at least this one leftist will go with such "debate" tactics and those who won't condemn them.

Scum.

A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception pretending to be another person.  A sockpuppet poses as an independent third-party unaffiliated with the puppeteer. Many online communities attempt to block sockpuppets (but not this blog).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_%28Internet%29


Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

@Baumer_1

You just don't get it. You're repeating the same ole Democrat party lines that people like your friends Barrow, Nanny Pelosi and Hairy Read send you every morning. That "you didn't build it" line comes from this incredibly failed installed "president" who hates free markets & loves bogus socialistic ideas like The Great Society. It's proven that big gov't ideas only bankrupt a free nation.


This once-free nation was built upon rugged individualism that's rooted in Judeo-Christian values and teachings. Self-reliance and hard work built those businesses, NOT Karl Marx! NOT W.E.B. Dubois! NOT Jesse Jackson! NOT Hussein Obama! NOT Billary Clinton! WE THE PEOPLE (those with common sense and Tea Party Republicans) along with God built those businesses. Dare I repeat myself again: Why should those who work hard, store their dollar$ away, attend church and play by the rules be forced into handing over their own money to the government? 


You just don't get it!

Good night! Common sense has left the fire house!

Amen,

Bill 

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

@Retired-Soldier  

I salute you for your service to your country and for your refusing subsidies. 

coj
coj

@linuxfanatic @The_Centrist  Duh, linux, Barrow is a panderer. It doesn't matter what club he is a member of, he panders to the money. You know, those who pay his actual salary and it's not the government but the one percenters.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

@The_Centrist  We noticed that you have never responded to the fact that the real screen name stealing sockpuppet is YOU! 


The reason conservatives have a problem with John Barrow is because he is what a Lincoln Republican used to look like.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Get over yourself, pseudo centrist. You are a misnomer to begin with.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@Bill OrvisWhite @Baumer_1  


Nope. Try telling those things to the self-made milionaire you know as President Obama.


Since when is the Great Society bankrupting America?  It only costs a couple of billion a year...not the $600bilion defense costs annually, or the $150billion tax cuts to the 1% cost every year, or the $2trillion Iraq cost, or the $7trillion the nuclear weapons program cost.


I really wish you wouldn't repeat yourself.  It is like listening to a child who hasn't studied and just parrots out what misinformation they hear on the radio.  


You can't even define socialism. You can not explain the tenets of Marxism. You speech may be free...but it is also worthless.


Or maybe you are just being sarcastic...I have to go with that. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@CherokeeCounty


Thank your for your impacting, honest personal testimony, CherokeeCounty. Your post took understanding and courage.  Moreover, your words are true about the paradox of many "FoxNews addict(s)."

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Me too, Mr. Soldier.

My dad, who I love to death and is still supervising the yokels who try and fail to manage his Iowa farm, has turned into a Fox News addict.

Very sad, 'cause he and his family survived the Depression thanks to Roosevelt's New Deal.

But as deep as he is into the Right Wing Noise Machine, he still signs up every year for the government programs that help keep Iowa dependent on the feds.

I haven't been able to make him see the conflict there :)

NWGAL
NWGAL

I really want the South to be successful and prosperous. But conservatives think small and tight. The fearfulness, the stinginess not just of money - all lead to a dead end, a closed society. To be surrounded by such great natural beauty and want to mow it all down - I really don't understand this place and I was born and raised here.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@NWGAL


Now that was a comment that will be discussed for hours, bless your little ole liberal heart..

TBS
TBS

@The_Centrist  

What's stings is your backside each time you read a comment from THE-CENTRIST or you are called a not so centrist.

Your crying and whining is the proof

bwhahhahahhhhahaa

NWGAL
NWGAL

Conservatives really don't have much imagination. Paranoia, yes, imagination, no.