The Conversation

One Night in Paris*

In response to The latest news from the blasted wasteland of austerity:

[*If you arrived at this post via Google search, please note: title refers to government spending porn, not Miss Hilton's sex tape] 

John, to be more precise Uncle Choo Choo's Parisian hotel bill came to $585,000.50. I am truly fascinated by the "and fifty cents" portion. Given his pattern of charitable giving, I'm guessing that was the bellboy's tip.

Let's break the finances down: even a moderately luxurious room at the Intercontinental - including taxes and fees, a room service meal or two, minibar fridge raids, and some Spectravision adult film entertainment - could be obtained for $1000 per night or less. This suggests that Mr. Biden travels with an entourage of... 585 people. Enough to fill 2 jumbo jets.

Wait, what? Okay, that's crazy talk, the Intercontinental only has 470 rooms. Plus I'm sure our famously frugal Veep, who spearheads the Administration's deficit reduction efforts, travels light with a skeleton crew of no more than 50-60 aides, Secret Service agents, advance men and assorted toadies. Which brings his facture d'hôtel to... more than $10,000 per person per night. Paging Priceline Negotiator.

The lodging invoices for National Joe's European Vacation help explain DC's demonization of $200,000 earners as "the rich." Biden's official $250,000 salary puts him in the paycheck realm of a physician or mid-upper level corporate exec, and half the major league baseball minimum. It might surprise Washington to learn other folks in his income bracket don't frequently enjoy $585,000 per-night getaways to Paris with a few hundred of their closest pals (and fifty cents).

What's the difference between Biden and a bidet? One's a comical spouting toilet in a French hotel, the other one's made of porcelain.


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