Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), who is technically a potential 2016 presidential candidate, is a pretty fat man. So when news came out he's spent 80 percent of his "state allowance" on food and alcohol. Christie receives a $90,000 annual "allowance" for work-related expenses on top of his $175,000 a year salary. The portion of the story receiving the most attention is $82,594 paid in 2010 and 2011 on concessions at MetLife Stadium, the New Jersey NFL venue where the Giant and Jets play. A fat man with political views not shared by the tolerant left spending lots of money on snacks? Cue the picking of the low hanging comedy fruit.
Just one example via Salon:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent more than $80,000 of taxpayer money on snacks at NFL games between 2010 and 2011, according to a report from New Jersey Watchdog. Christie used his government debit card 58 times at MetLife Stadium, and his office "did not provide any receipts, business reasons or names of individuals entertained, but defended the expense."
Christie's office has defended his use of the expense account, but were clearly embarrassed by the revelation that the governor was expensing quite a few beers while watching the Giants and Jets play because it reimbursed the costs associated with the games.
My first response was shock, of course. Christie averaged $1,500 in concessions at each game and didn't bother keeping receipts to explain the expenses. But my second response was total envy. Spending $82,000 on snacks is an actual dream of mine. I mean, not the exact amount but the idea of spending the cost of a down payment on a home on queso and hot dogs has always been very appealing to me.
There is, of course, a legitimate issue here. The idea of a government official having an expense account with such liberal rules of use on top of a decent salary ought to be preposterous. But the problem is hardly unique to Christie, and New Jersey Watchdog's report went viral not because the left suddenly found religion on wasteful spending by political leaders but because they can make fun of someone whose political positions they don't like and belongs to a demographic (fat people) which it has been traditionally acceptable to mock for what they are.
The White House's household expenses, for example, totaled $1. 4 billion a year in 2013, but liberals tend to defend presidential travel and living expenses as par for the course. When a four-figure dinner the Obamas had on vacation made the news, Jezebel called people who criticized it "conservative morons," because of course the president should be able to splurge on dinner. While Jezebel will defend the spending habits of someone whose salary is funded by you and me, don't expect them to stop mocking private citizens when they spend wealth that wasn't just taken from taxpayers. Because it's fun to mock stupid rich kids. And don't expect Jezebel to point out that six (6!) out of the ten richest counties in the U.S. are in the DC metro area, where wealth is largely generated by coming up with schemes to become the recipient of taxpayer money.
Chris Christie spent a lot of money at a football stadium and for the left the scandal is that a fat man spends a lot on snacks at a place where snacks are really expensive. Complaints about the spending habits of the president aren't met with concern, but with a chorus of "Bush did it too," as if we were all locked in and obligated to keep repeating every mistake anyone's ever made and keep doing the same stupid things, all in the interest of fairness.
The underlying issues—excessive government spending, for example, or the tendency by "public servants" to treat government as a meal ticket—are ignored in favor of making fun of a fat person. But don't you dare point to the Obama's expenses, you awful racists.