Skip to comments.Federal travelers receive $36 of taxpayer money for dinner
Posted on 03/20/2012 9:28:40 AM PDT by JudgeNap
Is it really necessary that federal travelers have about a $30 meal when on travel (and a $6 tip)? American taxpayers would be unlikely to think so, and if they found out that federal travelers were having that expensive of a dinner paid for by the government there would be justifiable public outrage. Many in our nation are struggling to even provide basic meals for their families, why should federal travelers be afforded such luxury? Do not worry it gets worse...
(Excerpt) Read more at milwaukeestory.com ...
When I was poor in the USAF, I used to take along a can of soup (or similar) and keep the per diem. Yes, it is a perk.
Virtually all mass transportation is heavily subsidized. The people Mover in Detroit is rider funded at a rate of around 7%. From my reading, it appears that 25% rider funding is considered to be quite successful for many mass transit systems.
Now I wonder how many Americans are using it as opposed to how many are funding it.
When you are traveling for business, there is always a travel budget for lodging/board.
Generally there is a daily figure and the traveler uses that amount for the day.
Given how expensive it is to dine out $30 for an evening meal is not that high, yes and they should tip if the service warrants it.
Not that I want to get attacked. But I wouldn’t call a $30 dinner living it up. Even so, why do we have to pay for their dinner at all?
There are many cities where 30are bucks doesn’t go very far. As a traveling consultant, these are reasonably part of business travel. Im more worried about the buying televisions and jewelery with their credit cards.
I rarely hit that because I go to the local grocery store, buy supplies for meals that will last a week for less than $50. I also book at hotels that include a 'free' breakfast buffet. If I am traveling with colleagues, I will go out once or twice and use the per diem but for the most part, I'm cooking supper in my room. Or rather the kitchen in the room.
Some of my colleagues think I'm nuts. But I guess the idea of saving your employer some dough is too old-fashioned for them to grasp.
How is this different from food stamps?
Horse hockey. I am required to perform regular audits of Medicaid programs in 5 states, including tribal lands and reservations. I’m required to attend training in Baltimore or DC everytime this poll whore rolls out a new policy. Because I almost always travel alone I seldom take public transportation, so cabs come out of my per diem. They seldom approve rent cars any longer. That dwindles my per diem down even more. And on trips when I have to take my own vehicle I am only reimbursed .51 a mile. Same rate for the past 4 years. New policies have increased our oversight responsibilities, but poor financial policies have slashed our travel funds. So the king tells us to make bricks without straw. I tell the king to build a city without bricks. He’s such a moron.
Every company I’ve worked for had a per deim, based upon the city you were visiting. Some cities are simply more expensive than others, which makes sense.
However, there were 2 rules that applied to all meals - tips and alcohol are on YOU. The company refused to pay for alcohol, becuause of assumed liability. They refused to pay on tips; because that is a personal judgement call. It’s easy to give away someone else’s money.
So, in short; company got meals, transportation - but entertainment, alcohol and tips were on you. I think that was fair.
Exactly. I travel all the time for work. $36 for dinner is hardly outrageous, especially since I’m being asked to enjoy that $36 meal alone, instead of in the company of my family.
This article misses the mark.
As a former Road Warrior (200+ nights a year, for years), $30 bucks for dinner just isn’t that much, in some places.
I was out in San Diego a few weeks ago and the hotel was loaded with our overlords. The hotel was over $200 a night and a typical dinner was probably $35.
They were having the time of their lives! Bubbly and effervescent! Easy to be when you are spending other people’s money.
Made me ill. I was probably one of the few people in that hotel that was actually spending their own money.
now there are some things worth bitching about when it comes to government spending... but someone traveling on business, away from home, not in your own bed, keeping late hours, should not be forced to eat mcdonalds or taco damn bell for dinner... 30 bucks for a meal and a drink or two is not out of line...
That's an straw-man arguement. They are travelling for business. If they were home, they would have the convenience of going to their fridge and fixing their own meal. By virtue of being forced to travel, they are denied access to their kitchen and groceries. Because most hotels do not include a built-in kitchen; the traveller if forced to eat. He would not be in this situation, if not required by his business. A $30 dinner, depending on where you are eating, may be extravagent, or if at the airport, barely enough to cover more than fast food.
Thirty bucks for a dinner is more than I would pay but it’s hardly extravagant. And it’s hardly on the top of the list of abuses I would say. Misuse of government credit cards, loss/theft of equipment must surely be greater.
Let’s remember that the GSA per diem rate is the rate you can deduct for business travel expenses if you only want to keep the record of where you when and for how long, rather than keeping all the receipts. Cut is, and the Leviathan takes more money from those of us who do business travel without full reimbursement from our employers.
First, let me say I’m as or more cost conscious than most people. I’m a CPA and was a government auditor who traveled a lot, all over the country. $30.00 a day for meals isn’t excessive. Does anyone really expect someone to exist on burgers and fries for all three meals? If your hotel provides one of those free breakfasts (Yeah the one with the “mystery meat”) that’s deducted from the per Diem. When you factor the burden of being separated from your family for extended periods, the horror of having to work for Uncle Sugar, the threat of being at the mercy of Congressional whim, the taxpayers don’t make out so bad on travel!
Now if you want to discuss pay and benefits, that another matter and something needs to be done! That’s where we are all getting screwed!
I was stationed in DC in a Joint Billet when I was only a Captain (O-3). My duties had me traveling almost every other week.
I kept meticulous records and in the four years I lost money on EVERY TDY trip that involved CONUS destinations. The closest I ever got to breaking even was one TDY where I not only stayed in a real dive of a motel but ate at the nearby McDonald's twice per day and skipped lunches. I lost only $11 that week.
Since I had no choice in getting that duty, and I had a wife and child, the stipend I received to defray my food costs while away was to help me since I could not just go home to eat like a civilian. Or do you think I, and the men in my office should have paid for our plane tickets as well.
Agree - sometimes you have to chose between paying a bit more for a walking distance restaurant vs. the added expense of a cab to go someplace cheaper (and ultimately spending more).