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Thread: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

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    Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    WASHINGTON -- After Todd Akin lostthe Missouri Senate race to Democrat Claire McCaskill in November, he had one final piece of business to take care of as an outgoing member of the House of Representatives -- giving piles of government money to his staff. Akin nearly doubled the salaries of his House staffers in the quarter after his defeat, according to the website LegiStorm, which tracks congressional pay.
    Only retiring Democrat Gary Ackerman of New York was more generous with public money, barely topping Akin's 98 percent increase in pay, the website shows. Allen West, a Tea Party favorite from South Florida, was the fourth biggest giver of taxpayer bonuses after he lost reelection to Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.). Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) was the third most generous, according to LegiStorm.

    West and Akin routinely decried wasteful and out-of-control government spending, calling for major cuts to social programs.
    Of the top 10 members of Congress most generous with year-end bonuses, nine were Republicans, and 14 of the top 20 were, not coincidentally, on their way out of the House.


    Read more @: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Wait a sec!? I thought the Tea Party and their reps were supposed to be against big government and lavish spending and those evil bureaucrats .. Something is right here... Oh yea i forgot its hypocrisy


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    Re: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    [/COLOR][/FONT]

    Read more @: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Wait a sec!? I thought the Tea Party and their reps were supposed to be against big government and lavish spending and those evil bureaucrats .. Something is right here... Oh yea i forgot its hypocrisy
    Yes, it is hypocrisy. I can understand where they are coming from, wanting to take care of their people, but wrong in the larger picture and a total about face in from their public positions.

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    Re: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    Yes, it is hypocrisy. I can understand where they are coming from, wanting to take care of their people, but wrong in the larger picture and a total about face in from their public positions.
    This is probably the only honest response from anyone vaguely on the right that we'll see on this.


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    This issue has been plowed more times than Paris Hilton.
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    Re: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Would prefer to see something like this from a source more objective than Huffington, but assuming the information is correct it's definitely poor form. At worst, it's wasteful and irresponsable on their part. At best, it's a PR disaster.

    With this said, I can imagine one REASONBLE way this could've occured and why it seems to routinely, to various degrees, occur with ousted congressman. With budgets on a federal level it's not a situation typically where you can just take money and toss it to the next year if it's not used. The story suggests that left over budget money is typically funneled into bonuses. I could see an office, Dem or Republican, budgeting for the year under an assumption that they will still be in the position the following year. If that ISN'T the case then I imagine that much of what they intended to do in the 4th quarter wouldn't happen. This would result in a surplus of budget comparitive to a standard year. A surplus that, based on how the government generally works, they can't just turn around and "give back" in any real way. As such, it rolls into the bonus structure.

    IF that's the case, and again it wouldn't surprise me given my experience with government budgets, then it's at least a reasonable explanation regardless of political affiliation. That doesn't change the fact that PR wise it looks attrocious.

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    Re: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Would prefer to see something like this from a source more objective than Huffington, but assuming the information is correct it's definitely poor form. At worst, it's wasteful and irresponsable on their part. At best, it's a PR disaster.
    The article has a link to the LegiStorm website where you can verify its' claims.
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    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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    Re: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    The article has a link to the LegiStorm website where you can verify its' claims.
    Not so much about the information, but rather an honest attempt to delve into and present the information with an objective eye to history and reasoning. Any body can take some current information and present it in a way that suits a purpose. For example, the arthur seems to only have bothered to research one interation back, to 2010and gives on throw away sentence buried in the bottom highlighting that the same general thing happened in 2010.

    I would not be shocked if in 2008, 2006, and every subsiquent year you see that outgoing senators of whatever party had the most happen to lead the numbers in terms of bonuses to staff. I wouldn't be shocked about that because I have a general understanding of government budgets and based off even the little bit of objective info the writer tried to provide.

    Thus my point in terms of the huffington article and my curiosity in buying into it in terms of the extent of ridicule and condimination it attempts to portray rather than the hard numbers it grabs from other sources. Huffington writers, like unfortunately too many internet news sites, are aimed at reporting news typically from an consious or subconsious world view and looking or highighting a scant amount of information that doesn't directly coincide. In this case, it's "Must highlight tea party hypocrisy" while, in reality, we may be seeing the symptom of a system that is simply inefficient in the way it functions in a generalized sense.

    If there was some method these offices could somehow return the money back into the general fund without causing other types of issues and it wasn't persued, then that'd be problematic. However, I would be very surprised if such a thing was possible.

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    Re: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Not so much about the information, but rather an honest attempt to delve into and present the information with an objective eye to history and reasoning. Any body can take some current information and present it in a way that suits a purpose. For example, the arthur seems to only have bothered to research one interation back, to 2010and gives on throw away sentence buried in the bottom highlighting that the same general thing happened in 2010.

    I would not be shocked if in 2008, 2006, and every subsiquent year you see that outgoing senators of whatever party had the most happen to lead the numbers in terms of bonuses to staff. I wouldn't be shocked about that because I have a general understanding of government budgets and based off even the little bit of objective info the writer tried to provide.

    Thus my point in terms of the huffington article and my curiosity in buying into it in terms of the extent of ridicule and condimination it attempts to portray rather than the hard numbers it grabs from other sources. Huffington writers, like unfortunately too many internet news sites, are aimed at reporting news typically from an consious or subconsious world view and looking or highighting a scant amount of information that doesn't directly coincide. In this case, it's "Must highlight tea party hypocrisy" while, in reality, we may be seeing the symptom of a system that is simply inefficient in the way it functions in a generalized sense.

    If there was some method these offices could somehow return the money back into the general fund without causing other types of issues and it wasn't persued, then that'd be problematic. However, I would be very surprised if such a thing was possible.
    I found your argument wanting

    While it's true that the media as a whole engages in sensationalism, and individual outlets are biased, there is no shortage of outlets that are biased in favor of the tea party and against other political leanings. In politics, everyone has enemies in the media. There's nothing stopping them from reporting about similar acts committed by others. And from the aggregate, people can decide for themselves what they think about the issue

    However, there is no doubt that the tea party polticians this article focuses on have mad wasteful govt spending a primary issue of their politics. Therefore, I see no problem in an article that focuses on their hypocritical history with respect to the govt money they do control.

    The argument that "they do it too" and "they started it" are childish and even worse, do not address the point that the article makes.
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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    Re: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    While it's true that the media as a whole engages in sensationalism, and individual outlets are biased, there is no shortage of outlets that are biased in favor of the tea party and against other political leanings. In politics, everyone has enemies in the media.
    A strong point against the imaginary person you're debating against that suggests that bias only exists on one side. Could you please quote that person instead of me next time you're responding to him?

    You're not going to find me suggesting there aren't a plethora of individuals and sites out there that do the same general thing but on the right rather than the left. I've been on record a number of times on this forum suggesting that it's actually the natural course of media in general that it's going to slant one way or another, because how you view the world will determine how you approach a story. An individual has to make a concerted, dedicated effort in my opinion to honestly put forward an objective piece. Playing devil's advocate against ones own view points and thoughts on an issue is important to put forward an actual unbiased presentation, something many who slant either direction fail to do. Too often an unbiased TONE is enough to satisfy peoples desire for unbiased reporting.

    The argument that "they do it too" and "they started it" are childish and even worse, do not address the point that the article makes.
    This is not an argument of "they do it too" or "they started it". Rather, it's a suggestion that it's difficult to out right condemn something with little actual historical context OR without a full grasp of the situation it functions within. From my time working with government budgets I could easily see a situation in play where the offices may've been forced with one of two generalized options:

    1) Budget enough for the 4th quarter that if they win re-election they can undergo whatever initatives or efforts they would normally have planned.
    2) Budget enough for the 4th quarter so that if they lose re-election the money left over in the budget will be on par with a normal year.

    In situation 1, if the person loses re-election rather than wins, then they wind up with excess money in the budget which is what goes to bonuses at the end of the year.
    In situation 2, if the person wins re-election rather than loses it, then they wind up with a dearth of funds for the 4th quarter and thus are not operating in the manner they would normally shoot for.

    Now, is that the situation? I have no clue. However based on what little facts the article provides about how this process is done AND with my understanding of government budget princpiles, I wouldn't be shocked if that turns out to be the case. In which case, this is an issue of the system in which the representatives are functionin in is a broken one with a built in inefficiency. You can fight to change a system, but until it's changed the only thing one can really do is function WITHIN the system.

    This is the same general fallacy that so many people foolishly make with regards to the tea party and it's founded on an unabashed desire to attack and destroy while relying wholey on stereotyped boogeymen rather than attempting to be objective.

    A budget for an agency, or the federal budget as a whole, becomes set. Once that's set, the reality of the situation is that money IS going to be spent. If the money isn't spent it...let's say a national park in California...then it'll be spent in a National Park in Virginia. If it's not given as a bonus for one office within an agency then it's likely going to be spent by another office in the agency instead. It is an ENORMOUSLY rare situation that the government decides it budgeted MORE money than it necessarily needed and actually REFUNDS the tax payers money or takes the excess and uses it to pay down it's debt. Rather, when the money's not spent in one place it just is spent in the other. The reality is, in any situation where you both dislike the system and are governed by the system, the intelligent and responsable thing to do is go about changing the system and acting WITHIN it until such changes occur. Refusing to function within a system often times actually stifles your ability to affect change while simultaneously affecting little change on it's own. It's illogical and childish to function in such a way, and yet it is the way so many people with crystal clear agenda utilize in a singular case as a means of criticizing the tea party.

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    Re: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    A strong point against the imaginary person you're debating against that suggests that bias only exists on one side. Could you please quote that person instead of me next time you're responding to him?

    You're not going to find me suggesting there aren't a plethora of individuals and sites out there that do the same general thing but on the right rather than the left. I've been on record a number of times on this forum suggesting that it's actually the natural course of media in general that it's going to slant one way or another, because how you view the world will determine how you approach a story. An individual has to make a concerted, dedicated effort in my opinion to honestly put forward an objective piece. Playing devil's advocate against ones own view points and thoughts on an issue is important to put forward an actual unbiased presentation, something many who slant either direction fail to do. Too often an unbiased TONE is enough to satisfy peoples desire for unbiased reporting.
    the
    I never suggested or implied that you thought the bias was only on one side. I merely pointed out that because of the diversity of opinion represented in the media, there is no dearth of reporting on the issue.

    This is not an argument of "they do it too" or "they started it". Rather, it's a suggestion that it's difficult to out right condemn something with little actual historical context OR without a full grasp of the situation it functions within. From my time working with government budgets I could easily see a situation in play where the offices may've been forced with one of two generalized options:

    1) Budget enough for the 4th quarter that if they win re-election they can undergo whatever initatives or efforts they would normally have planned.
    2) Budget enough for the 4th quarter so that if they lose re-election the money left over in the budget will be on par with a normal year.

    In situation 1, if the person loses re-election rather than wins, then they wind up with excess money in the budget which is what goes to bonuses at the end of the year.
    In situation 2, if the person wins re-election rather than loses it, then they wind up with a dearth of funds for the 4th quarter and thus are not operating in the manner they would normally shoot for.

    Now, is that the situation? I have no clue. However based on what little facts the article provides about how this process is done AND with my understanding of government budget princpiles, I wouldn't be shocked if that turns out to be the case. In which case, this is an issue of the system in which the representatives are functionin in is a broken one with a built in inefficiency. You can fight to change a system, but until it's changed the only thing one can really do is function WITHIN the system.

    This is the same general fallacy that so many people foolishly make with regards to the tea party and it's founded on an unabashed desire to attack and destroy while relying wholey on stereotyped boogeymen rather than attempting to be objective.
    My claim that the tea party makes govt spending a primary issue is completely accurate. How this usually works should not be consideration because the TP claims that it is determined to change these things. It really is incredible to justify this spending by teabaggers on the grounds that this is how govt spends when they go around claiming that they're against excessive govt spending and are going to change the way govt works.

    A budget for an agency, or the federal budget as a whole, becomes set. Once that's set, the reality of the situation is that money IS going to be spent. If the money isn't spent it...let's say a national park in California...then it'll be spent in a National Park in Virginia. If it's not given as a bonus for one office within an agency then it's likely going to be spent by another office in the agency instead. It is an ENORMOUSLY rare situation that the government decides it budgeted MORE money than it necessarily needed and actually REFUNDS the tax payers money or takes the excess and uses it to pay down it's debt. Rather, when the money's not spent in one place it just is spent in the other. The reality is, in any situation where you both dislike the system and are governed by the system, the intelligent and responsable thing to do is go about changing the system and acting WITHIN it until such changes occur. Refusing to function within a system often times actually stifles your ability to affect change while simultaneously affecting little change on it's own. It's illogical and childish to function in such a way, and yet it is the way so many people with crystal clear agenda utilize in a singular case as a means of criticizing the tea party.
    Again, defending this spending on the basis of "this is how govt works" fails because these are politicians who have claimed that they want to change how govt spends money
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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    Re: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    [/COLOR][/FONT]

    Read more @: Todd Akin, Allen West Lavished Government Money On Staff After Losing ReelectionWait a sec!? I thought the Tea Party and their reps were supposed to be against big government and lavish spending and those evil bureaucrats .. Something is right here... Oh yea i forgot its hypocrisy
    ----------------

    Let's face it, anyone who worked for either Akin or West deserves as much money as they can get.
    Can you imagine how many "clarifying" statements these poor staffers had to compose for these two whackos?
    They earned every penny.
    No matter how cynical I become toward politicians, it's never enough.

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