• They Fly First Class

      ToastWill you and your family put off a vacation this year because you can't afford it? Too bad, because you have paid for some terrific trips -- for government bureaucrats. The Washington Times reports that last year $13 billion in tax dollars was spent to pamper "public servants" on trips that double as vacation junkets.

      The Securities and Exchange Commission, for example, frequently sent employees overseas on first- or business-class airplane tickets that cost taxpayers up to $10,000 each...

      Likewise, agencies spend millions sending employees to private industry trade shows that just happen to be in resort locations such as Las Vegas. The Department of Commerce spent $7.5 million on conferences of this sort in 2007.

      Certainly the scolds at the Environmental Protection Agency wouldn't allow any kind of wasteful travel.

      (EPA) Employees faced with supervisors who rejected travel requests could manipulate the electronic system to, in effect, approve their own travel. Because the agency's leadership did not bother to review travel spending, the requests were processed automatically.

      Sweet. And why should the EPA's leadership review their staffers' travel spending? It's not their money; the money came from the suckers, er, taxpayers, many of whom ride buses and subways to work and skip vacations to save a few bucks.