This isn’t my original theory, nor is it the primary reason travel should be tightened. But as Kate first pointed out to me, if travel allowances are severely curtailed, odds are there will be more Democratic retirements. It stinks to be in the minoroty in the House. Free trips are just one of the few redeeming perks (Note all the Ds in Byron’s tally).
If you’re the spouse of a Democratic Representative and you’re watching as his old staffers — including the kids who used to bring you coffee and walk your dog — are now making high six figures in the private sector and working better hours, you might think it’s time to retire anyway. Then, they take away you fat junkets to France or Brazil. The case for sticking around gets even weaker.