|Updated: 2/12 10:57 am
||Published: 2/11 4:47 pm
An investigation from FOX23’s Washington D.C. bureau found tax dollars are bailing out a barbershop.
FOX23’s Scott McFarlane learned the US Senate spent $1 million tax dollars since 2010 to help pay bills at a tiny hair salon inside the US Capitol Complex. Senators, lobbyists, and D.C. insiders frequent the salon.
During McFarlane’s investigation he was banned from bringing cameras in the salon, but he did find one photo inside the U.S. Senate Barbershop, of an executive representative of the Insurance Industry getting a hair cut.
The haircuts at the salon cost $27, a dye job costs $105 according to the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.
But, the U.S. Senate Barbershop is not doing well financially. Records obtained show taxpayers had to provide nearly half a million dollars to help the salon pay its bills in 2012. The records show the salon got $300,000 in bailout money in 2011 and 2010.
“If taxpayers knew all of the perks and privleges they provide members of congress, there would be riots in the street,” says Tom Fitton with Taxpayer Watchdog-Judicial Watch.
The U.S. Senate also has its own post offices and cafes. Members also have permission to lease cars on the taxpayer’s dime. They’re also paid $174,000 a year in salaries.
McFarlane found the barbershop has 10 employees on payroll making an estimated $81,000 per year, it also needs equipment and supplies. But the location is cheap, free of charge from the Senate Sergeant at Arms Office.
Congress is posed to spend about $4 billion on its own internal expenses in 2013.
The U.S. Senate history told McFarlane that U.S. Senators were given free haircuts, shaves and even monogramed mugs by the barbers at the barbershop before the 70s. That’s when Congress made some budget cuts and required the barbers to begin charging.