The culture and polity that is Washington sentences to ponder

The ride-hailing group [Uber] is smarting over guidelines that let government workers recoup transport costs such as “feeding and stabling horses” but do not appear to permit claims for taking an Uber.

Here is the Barney Jopson FT article.  It remains to be seen whether or not the regulations will be changed.

Comments

I've been riding a horse to work ever since I learned that California allowed horses into the HOV lanes and I've never gotten a subsidy for it.

My wife rides a horse every night (if she was a good girl during the day that is.)..

Dude, we all know that your political ideology stems from a profound lack of testosterone production. C'mon.

People who use the word "profound" have low testosterone.

Wow. That took a really long time for someone to troll me like that.

I was just teasing you, but you are no Ray Lopez.

And you sir, clearly are of Government worker caliber.

Exactly what government jobs stipulated the riding of a horse? Maybe there were some, like park rangers, but I'm sure most did not.

Come on. This is a perfectly reasonable law. After all, we would not want to discriminate against the Amish-American community would we? They too have a perfect right to public service.

In fact any number of government programs might work better with more Amish in charge.

http://www.fs.fed.us/blogs/wild-mustangs-help-forest-service-wilderness-rangers-do-their-jobs

Not too hard to imagine places horse/mule travel is more effective then vehicles.

No. The few government workers who actually use horses in their jobs (e.g. mounted police) use government owned horses. The 'feeding and stabling' of horses provision, I am sure, is a leftover from before automobiles when government workers routinely used their own horses to get to work or for government related travel.

I'd guess plenty of federal workers already get reimbursed for using Uber just by classifying the receipt as originating from a taxi service, and enjoying the benefit of the sympathetic interpretation of the guidelines by their travel official. I know that this has worked for vouchers in DTS relating to temporary duty in the Department of Defence.

Indeed this is exactly what I do, and it is not a problem.

Well, I think the horse reimbursement

Discriminates against

Elephants and Donkeys.

I will let you know that you can have my elephant when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

And then he's gonna have one pissed-off elephant on his hands. Good call.

Who wants to invest in my startup, HorseShare?

1. User hails a horse on his smartphone using the HorseShare app.

2. Horse driver picks up user.

3. User pays for feeding and stabling of horse using credit card info stored in his HorseShare account.

4. HorseShare app automatically files for reimbursement of feeding and stabling expenses.

You can also buy pollution offset credits for your ride

and

Contribute the horse manure to a charity of your choice.

I already chip in a few bucks to political causes.

Why not? There are actually horse carriages in the centre of some cities that could do that, within a reasonable distance.

Will there be surge pricing for those times when other horses are clogging things up?

I believe Air BnB is in a similar situation

The part about horses sounded too good to check, but is indeed in the Federal Travel Regulation. It may still be relevant in a few situations; it was mentioned in a 1991 GAO decision concerning Bureau of Indian Affairs employees who did cowboy work (livestock roundups, etc.) on a reservation. http://www.gao.gov/products/B-238663#mt=e-report

Not paying fixed costs is a bi-partisan practice, but some would like it to mean a brave public policy. It reminds me when a former president would praise the brave politicians who would promise voters tax cuts, like the brave parents who would promise their children ice cream and chocolate. When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean.

Back in the 1970s when Sparkman was chairman of the bank committee he would scour the Fed budget for fed employees using taxis.

When he found it he tore into the Fed Chair at the monetary policy committee meeting.

Consequently, Fed employees never claimed reimbursement for taxis.

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