The Daily report rightly calls it “a lot off the top”:
America’s most distinguished leaders get their hair cut at the Senate barbershop, but taxpayers are the ones really getting clipped.
The barbershop ran almost $300,000 in the red last year but received an infusion from Senate coffers that is keeping it in business, the Senate sergeant at arms, Terrance Gainer, told The Daily.
A federal bailout isn’t that unusual since the economic downturn, but some senators didn’t even know their salon was in hot water — and don’t think it should be, considering what they pay for a little off the ears.
A shampoo, cut and blow dry is $27 and highlights are $105, according to the barbershop’s website. A trim costs $20, more than double what Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., gets charged when he goes to his barber back home.
It’s a classic DC boondoggle. Services not only cost twice as much, but the preferred, bailed-out barbers—now effectively government union employees—make more than double the street value for their subsidized services. For comparison, the nearest competitor, Capitol Barber, is out of the loop of graft: “Capitol’s four barbers and stylists made $22,000 to $30,000 last year with no benefits, manager Lynn Dang said.” But at the privileged Senate barber
[T]he top four barbers and stylists made more than twice that — $54,761; $70,349; $73,658; and $81,641 — plus they have a generous 401(k) plan, health care and paid vacation.
In all, the government contributed $230,000 in benefits for the barbershop, said Eve Goldsher, a spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee.
While small in the big picture of things, it’s a shave with the Welfare-State that’s too close for comfort. It’s about personal privilege, cronyism, insider deals, and corporate welfare all at the expense of the public treasury. It’s not just haircuts for Senators, it’s a haircut for the taxpayer.