It has been a year since Nancy Pelosi surrendered her gavel and stepped down as speaker of the House as a result of the Republican mid-term tsunami. To help ensure that history is not repeated, and to underscore the importance of this year’s elections, we present the Top 10 Perils of Pelosi.
1. Piled up trillions in debt
When Nancy Pelosi became speaker in January 2007, the national debt was $8.67 trillion. By the time she was deposed by the Tea Party Republicans four years later, that debt increased 60%, reaching $13.87 trillion. Since appropriation bills must constitutionally originate in the House, it is fair to blame Princess Pelosi and her kingdom of liberal Democratic congressmen for the spending spree.
2. ObamaCare abstinence
Despite the unpopularity of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ObamaCare), Pelosi used parliamentary maneuvers and partisan arm-twisting to ram the legislation through the House. Her classic statement urging its passage—“We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it”—is an appropriate slogan for her tenure as speaker.
3. Tea Party assault
When the Tea Party arose to counter Pelosi’s profligate spending, her response was to smear the movement. She tried to cast doubt on its authenticity, saying, “It’s not really a grassroots movement. It’s astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America.” She later likened Tea Partiers to Nazis, and fiscal-conservative Republicans to terrorists. Of course, the mainstream media followed suit and have attacked the Tea Party ever since.
4. Occupy hypocrisy
Unlike her scorn for the Tea Party, Pelosi was quick to support the Occupy Wall Street crowd and embraced the group’s assertion that that the top 1% is unfairly profiting from the 99%. Yet Pelosi is firmly ensconced in the upper reaches of that 1%, with a net worth of some $101 million, making her the sixth wealthiest member of the House. Even as the 99% suffer through hard times, Pelosi saw her net worth soar in the Great Recession.
5. Airplane brouhaha
Flying back and forth between Washington, D.C., and her district in San Francisco proved to be too grueling for the House speaker when the military-provided transport she used had to land for refueling. Pelosi threw a fit and demanded that the Pentagon summon a larger aircraft capable of a non-stop flight—at triple the cost.
6. Special waivers
When the Democrats took over the House in 2007 Pelosi led the charge to raise the federal minimum wage. An exception to the wage mandate in the bill, cosponsored by Pelosi, was made for the U.S. territory of the Northern Marianas Islands, where a major employer—StarKist-Tuna—is owned by Del Monte, which is headquartered in Pelosi’s congressional district. Oh, and an astounding 20% of the all waivers to ObamaCare approved by the administration last spring were for businesses in Pelosi’s district.
7. Insider trading
An average citizen who profits from insider stock trading faces the risk of spending time behind bars. Not so for Pelosi, who took advantage of a loophole for members of Congress and made millions participating in a special Initial Public Offering by VISA at the same time Congress was considering credit-card legislation that would cost the company a bundle.
8. Lied about torture briefing
While Pelosi railed against the Bush Administration for using enhanced interrogation techniques on terror detainees, she seemed to have conveniently forgotten that she was briefed on the use of waterboarding way back in 2002. When news of the briefing became public in 2009, Pelosi charged the CIA with lying, but was refuted by Obama-appointed CIA director Leon Panetta.
9. Taxpayer extravagance
Wealthy Pelosi knows how to live the good-life. Witness her recent vacation in Hawaii where she and her husband stayed in a $10,000-per-night hotel. While we don’t begrudge the rich spending their own money, it irks us when they are extravagant at taxpayers’ expense. Pelosi’s congressional travel expenses for a two-year period exceeded $2 million, including over $100,000 spent on in-flight alcohol and food. Only the best liquor was served—Grey Goose vodka, Courvoisier cognac and Bombay Sapphire gin.
10. Taxpayer-funded Botox
Most healthcare plans don’t pay for cosmetic surgery that has no medical rationale. But the very first Omnibus Spending Bill passed in the Nancy Pelosi era made sure that the healthcare plan for members of Congress included taxpayer-funded Botox injections and face-lifts for members of Congress—a measure that the former speaker seems to have taken full advantage of.