Tanner, Gordon Vote to Give You $13 a Week, Take Wives to Paris for Valentine's Day on Taxpayers' Tab
NASHVILLE – What are you doing for Valentines Day? Tennessee Congressman John Tanner – who claims to be a fiscally conservative Democrat – is taking his wife to Paris, France – and you are paying for it.
This will be Rep. Tanner's second taxpayer-funded trip to Europe since the November election. He traveled with a Congressional delegation to Valencia, Spain, and Rome, Italy, in November. This weekend, he's leading another Congressional delegation – 13 Congress members and 10 spouses – on a nine-day trip to Europe include Brussels, Rome, Vienna, Paris on Valentine's Day, and a stop at a famed ski town in the Bavarian Alps.
While the average American in tough economic times looks for bargains when they travel, Tanner and the delegation will be flying with an entourage of spouses, staffers and military escorts on a military plane at huge expense.
"The estimated average tax cut that middle class Americans will receive for the last six months of the year as part of the bloated 'economic stimulus' package that John Tanner and the Democrats passed in Congress today is $13 a week," said Bill Hobbs, communications director for the Tennessee Republican Party.
"At $13 a week, it would take the average American several years to save up enough money to take their sweetie to Paris for Valentine's Day, but John Tanner and Bart Gordon aren't average Americans," Hobbs said. "They are Democrat congressmen who claim to be fiscal conservatives but are right now jetting off to Europe at taxpayers' expense instead of coming back to Tennessee to explain why they voted for billions of dollars in pork projects and payoffs to special interest groups but only $13 a week for the average middle class taxpayer."
The front page of Tanner's congressional website notes today that each American's share of America's $10.7 trillion national debt is $35,038.15. On Friday, before jetting off to Europe, Tanner and Gordon voted to add $787 billion dollars to the national debt. Your share of that – more than $2,600 - would be enough to pay for a weekend in Paris.
In December 2007, Tanner gave a speech on the House floor in which he criticized continued borrowing to pay for today's federal spending., calling a proposal to add $50 billion to the national debt "irresponsible."