Why do US. Congress members get free airport parking?

"Because they’re the ones making the rules." A video followup to Cory's post from last week.

Free airport parking for Congress: a reminder that the rich write the rules


  1. I think they should get tons of perks, if…. they can’t accept money from anywhere else. 

    I think law makers should get huge pay and perks. But, they should not be allowed to accept money or gifts of any kind from anyone. Taking a Congressman out to lunch should be illegal. They should not be allowed to invest their money in anything (besides US bank accounts).

    If those were the rules I would be happy to let them have their free parking. Sadly…

  2. Even if they did pay, they’d include the fee on their expense report like everyone else.

    And we all know who pays for those.

  3. So what?  Would it be cheaper if they paid commercial rates and then expensed it?  Congressional travel is covered by the tax payer anyways.

    1.  Yeah, this is a stupid, non issue.  The American people built the damn airport, why shouldn’t we save a little by not allowing the new management to profit from charging our employees for parking.

  4. Okay, so what’s the alternative?

    They’ll be charged for parking, they’ll expense the parking as it relates to their working in DC.

    Then we’ll need to pay for overhead in reimbursing the expenses and there’s the potential for fraudulent claims/sloppy recordkeeping.Really is just best to leave this one as-is.

    1. Fuck ’em. Make them fill out the goddamn expense reports like the rest of us have to.

      It’s the principle of the matter that they vote themselves special priviledges that the people they work for (ie: taxpayers) are excluded from.

      1. Yeah, that’s exactly what we need. Them spending even less time than they currently do on what they’re supposed to be doing.

        1. Anything that force them to take time away from lobbyists is a good thing.

          1.  That’s funny. If they’re spending time on this sort of stupid piddly shit, do you really think that a lobbyist is ultimately getting less of their time? It’s their constituents who get less of their time.


          Because,  we should let those spaces sit vacant for a week and not earning $5/hour for their use so some staffer won’t take an extra 30 seconds to add “parking” to an already-existing expense report.


          1. You do understand this is just for one airport right? The one they have to fly in and out of all the time to do their job in DC? 

          2. Yep. It’s about a dozen stops away from my house on the metro.

            19 million non-congressional passengers go through there every year; not sure why the fact that it’s just one airport is significant.

      2.  And who do you think fills out their expense reports?  Them or their staffers? 

      3.  This will require an additional staffer to handle the increased workload.  Of the publicly funded variety, of course.

        Leave well enough alone.  No outrage required.

    2. Except for the fact that those tax dollars that would be used to pay for the parking would presumably come proportionally (if not equitably) from 50 different states around the Union.  As it is, MWAA missed out on 100% of the revenue streams from the parking payments.  The DC region foots all of the bill when it could be covered by reimbursement payments from Congress. I assume their airfare is paid for in this manner – its probably not that much more difficult to expense the parking 

  5. Why spend a lifetime worming your way into a position of power if you don’t abuse it?

    Several years back when a certain individual was promoted to the top of the food chain where I work, first thing they did was designate a parking spot closest to the front door for their personal use. Anyone else that parks there gets a ticket from site security.

    I was mad about it for a while, but eventually came to the conclusion it’s not worth wasting my energy on these small minded chumps. I save that motivation for completely forgetting about work the instant it hits 5pm. 

  6. I sure hope car thieves or other vandalous types don’t have the internet. They might be able to locate that lot with those nice vehicles.

  7. I wonder how many freebies the average person gets, or takes, as it were. I know the mantra power corrupts, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn ~everyone (except me, obviously) is selfish or a bit of a cheat in various and sundry ways.
    Stuff like taking the yellow light keeping incorrect change, or forgetting to scan the stuff on the bottom shelf of the cart all come to mind.

    tl;dr: glass houses and stones and all that

    1. The problem isn’t the “freebies”. As you note, lots of “average persons” get freebies. 

      The problem is that lawmakers also make the rules and exceptions for themselves. Including the “freebies”.   It’s a system that can lead to abuse. (I don’t see free parking at one airport as such an abuse, that’s a a sensible job perk.) 

      But there’s already a system of checks and balances in place: The voters can inform themselves about these things and vote accordingly.

    2. Its like being a corrupt bully in a money store.

      They’have been doing this for years and they keep expecting more.

  8. Oh, for heaven’s sake. There are lots of things wrong with our political system, and with social justice in our country writ large. A minor perk that makes it easier for Congresspeople to visit their districts and meet with and live among the people they represent is not one of the problems. We could quibble about ways to make this easier, and implementation. Myself, I’d prefer that they use (and have access to) excellent public transit from the baggage claim to their offices and to a transportation hub or parking structure. But I’m totally fine with the travel of Congresspeople to and from work being heavily subsidized, and indeed with other measures that make it remotely possible for non-millionaires to serve in Congress.

  9. That’s nothing compared to the fact that politicians get to decide their own salaries.

    1. Or decide where to invest based on decisions they are going to announce, as soon as they have secured the rights.

  10. Why do their DC cars have home state license plates? They must be in Washington often/long enough to require a change of registration.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see how ordinary most of the cars are though. One doesn’t picture a Congressman driving anywhere in anything but a black limo or at least Town Car.

    1. One doesn’t picture a Congressman driving anywhere in anything but a black limo or at least Town Car.

      That’s their other car. This one’s a second (or third, or or n-th) car, and its driven for camouflage.

  11. Am I the only one who’s prompted to recall the scene from Fight Club? You know, the montage bit where they throw pigeon feed over a stock of brand new Porsches? 

  12. The 12,400 oligarchs own the land, the 1%ers feel entitled to free parking and the 99%ers are expected to pay the rent for everybody, despite the fact that they get paid squat and their parking is a long walk from another lot.

    Same as it ever was…

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