On Television: Subsidizing Empty Airplanes And Campaign Dollars For Personal Use

Last night was my weekly appearance on Chris Berg’s 6:30 Point of View program on Valley News Live, and we covered some of the stuff I’ve been writing about here on the blog.

Berg played my clip of a floor debate which took place last week over legislation, introduced by Rep. Ben Hanson (D-Fargo) which would prohibit the use of campaign dollars you give to politicians for their personal expenses. Because, believe it or not, that’s not already illegal.

What’s more, the money seems to fall into a loophole were, even if lawmakers do spend it on personal expenses, it’s tax-free. They’re not paying income tax on it.

The House voted down the bill, but the floor debate on it was just remarkable. And it’s amazing to me that this issue didn’t get more attention from the media.

We also discussed Valley News Live’s report about EAS subsidies which basically have the taxpayers footing the bill for mostly empty flights to rural airports, including terminals in Devils Lake and Jamestown here in North Dakota.

I’ve written about these subsidies a lot in the past, and they’re ridiculous. I can’t imagine anything more wasteful than the taxpayers subsidizing mostly empty jets flying around the country on the idea that it has some nebulous economic benefit for these rural communities.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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