Thursday, July 30, 2015

Biden's Bubble

Further proof of Washington's life within a bubble can be seen in the cost of VP Biden's recent trip to London and Paris. Why not, you know, stay home, Joe?

Biden's Bubble

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As if American taxpayers needed further proof that their government lives in a bubble and that their elected leaders are so removed from the daily struggles of so many who pay the costs of such living, now come reports of Vice President Joe Biden's two-night, million-dollar stay in Paris and London.

First reported by the Weekly Standard, the trip last month included one-night each for Biden at luxury hotels in both cities and, of course, stays for huge advance security and communications teams (136 rooms in London) for which taxpayers spent $585,000 in Paris and $459,338 in London.

The New York Daily News published some shots of the digs. U.S. News & World Report has the full story.

It seems to me there is no time when this is acceptable. (I can't even recall what the trip was for, unless it was to improve the economies of England and France.) But with the nation in "sequestration," still running up debt, nowhere near a budget settlement and with average Americans continuing to face job loss, pay reductions, increased Social Security taxes, etc., is there anybody who wasn't ON that trip who thinks it was a good idea?

I get that it costs a ton to move a president around the world. I get that there are times when sending a president overseas has a real purpose and delivers a message. But, come on, Biden is VICE president and a gaffe-prone glad-hander.

The only message his foreign travel sends at a time like this is that Washington doesn't see or care what's going on in the lives of the rest of us and will continue to spend on itself even while signing off on across-the-board spending cuts expected to impact hundreds of thousands of jobs, social services, education, the military and more.

As entertaining as a Biden trip can be, are the costs worth the benefit, which, as far as I can tell, is largely providing late-night comics with fresh material?

So how about staying home, Joe. And learning how to use Skype.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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