To: Senators and Rep
My attention was recently drawn to an editorial in the Sacramento Bee discussing President Bush's excessive spending on his own public image:
This is only the latest in a string of reports on such incidents. The White House recently tried to justify spending an exorbitant sum on Bush's jet ride to the USS Lincoln by lying about its distance from shore. To quote Ari Fleischer, speaking in a White House press briefing:
Q: ... On the visit to the aircraft carrier, I believe you told us from this podium that the reason the President had to take a jet out was because the carrier would be hundreds of miles offshore. And as it turned out, it was way, way less than that.
Fleischer: Correct. Correct.
Q: Were you misled?
Fleischer: No, the original planning was exactly as I said and when I -- when I announced it, that was exactly how the plan had been anticipated. And then, the President wanted to land, exactly as I told you on the flight out there, which was the day of the trip when we knew the exact -- or when we knew how close the carrier was.
In other words, Bush found out that he could save taxpayers a bundle, but chose to spend the money for his own benefit anyways.
I am offended by the actions of this President. In a time when those who serve and protect our communities, and those who teach our children, are being told that there is not enough money to fund their vital services, our so-called leader is wasting millions of dollars to play at being the pilot he never was when he was AWOL from the Air National Guard, and on burnishing his image.
I hope that Congress can find some way to exercise the power of the purse to put an end to a Presidential obsession with spending tax dollars on popularity. If nothing else, Democrats should draw the nation’s attention to the cost of these photo ops. Each of George W. Bush's publicity spectacles costs America a teacher, or a firefighter, or a policeman.