I travel on a budget. I have to. My expense account will only pay for so much while I'm in the great city of Atlanta.
When I first began traveling here my expense account was even smaller than it is now and it required of me some great maneuvering (and a bit of a strong stomach) to survive without picking up something questionable.
The worst horror story I have is of a place called the Austell Inn, now, thankfully, under new management. I had stayed there on two prior occasions and each time had told myself I would never come back. So, of course, there I was on my third visit.
I had the misfortune of visiting during the week of transition from a horrible and perhaps nonexistent management team to a team of naivete so beyond its capabilities it would today make John Kerry look magnificent in his duties of Sec. of State.
Anyway, it was the final night of my stay and after working a typical twelve to fourteen hour day in the fair city I got back to my room to find no towels, no bathroom tissue, and the bed stripped with the bedding laying in a pile on the bed. I immediately marched down to the management office to claim a refund and, just so that you know I was marching on the moral high ground, I didn't even plan to complain about the spilled Chinese delivery in the elevator that had been there for two days or the disposable baby diapers that were hanging from the tree in front of my room that had been there for the duration of my stay. After all, this wasn't the Loews Anatole.
I entered the office with steam coming from my ears and began lodging my list of complaints. Bedding, blah, dirty shower, blah, towels, blah, toilet tissue, blah blah.
I was assured that management was truly sorry and that, when I came back next time, I wouldn't be subjected to the same poor conditions. Oh, he was sorry to say, the room rate was going up about $120 per week. Incidentally, there was no refund.
Which brings me to Detroit's newest favorite dope, the swill peddling Rep. Gary Peters who wants to assure the federal government that the next time his fair city receives a bunch of federal grant money that the city will change its ways and spend that money wisely. If they will only give the city one more chance and spend some money on Detroit the habitual dysfunction will be miraculously replaced with efficiency.
To assure this transition all the federal government has to do is create a federal interagency task force to watch the dollars so they don't just disappear in a puff of smoke like most of the last few billion did.
I want to make sure I have this straight...a government now behind on its bills some $17,000,000,000.000.00 (if you don't count the $80,000,000,000,000.00 or so in unfunded liabilities) will become, if Peters has his way, the actuary-savior over Detroit's malfeasance. Or, put another way, removing local responsibility and control and transferring it hundreds of miles outside the city limits will somehow make it easier to scrutinize the next sludge removal contract while improving the preventative maintenance program for city ambulances, fire trucks and police cruisers. Or, put even another way, that same government $17,000,000,000,000.00 in debt and hundreds of miles away from the city of Detroit, will help create more efficiency and cost effectiveness by growing larger and throwing money down a sleeker rat hole.
I didn't go back to the Austell Inn even though it was under new management. For all I know the linen is still stacked on the bed some three years later. And Detroit doesn't deserve one more federal dollar and no sane individual on Earth would ever write it another check. But in all fairness to Peters, he isn't suggesting that individuals give the city any more money. No, he is suggesting that the federal government borrow huge amounts of additional dollars in the name of those individuals to send to his city to be overseen by the likes of that dope Gary Peters.
Somehow that makes it okay.