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Report: Top Obama Officials Spent Close To $1M On Private Chartered Flights

All up and down the campaign trail last year, then-candidate Donald Trump touted how he intended to ‘drain the swamp’ if we was elected as president. While he’s certainly taking some steps to do just that, there has also been an embarrassing high-profile scandal that points to business as usual in the nation’s capital. That scandal has already resulted in the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and there could be some more dominoes to fall.

As Newsmax shares, the downfall of Price led to some more poking around by inquiring minds. Unsurprisingly, Price’s behavior is not an isolated incident - and we’re not just talking about within the confines of the Trump administration.

“The Obama administration spent lavishly on private flights for top government officials, the Daily Caller reported Monday, as the media continues to criticize Trump Cabinet members for flying on corporate planes,” Newsmax shares. “Two former secretaries of the Interior Department spent nearly $1 million on chartered flights from 2010 through 2016, according to government documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.”

On the Obama side of the ledger, the culprits were Ken Salazar, President Barack Obama's first Interior secretary, and his replacement, Sally Jewell. Between 2010 to 2013, Salazar spent $586,196 on private flights, while Jewell would spend $385,438 on chartered planes between 2013 and 2016.

That’s a troubling revelation, but we’ll point out that the topic of waste should never be a partisan issue - nor do two wrongs make a right. The egregious wasting of taxpayer dollars is an issue that affects all of us, regardless of political leanings. As such, this is an easy one for everyone to come together on. To Trump’s credit, reports indicate that he was furious when the revelations about Price made the rounds. Hence, Price’s apologies fell on deaf ears, and he was shown the door.

That’s the way it works in the world of business. Ridiculous mistakes or oversights that cost companies a pretty penny are dealt with swiftly. It should be no different when we’re talking about the federal government. In this case, taxpayers play the role of shareholders, and they have every right to expect that their dollars are not being used wastefully.

Unfortunately, that’s far from the case in a lot of different ways. As we mentioned, Trump is taking steps to fix that, but it’s discouraging to see that the wasteful mentality has also impacted his administration. In addition to Price, Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt have all been accused of having a flippant attitude towards the use of private aircraft.

It’s obviously quite easy to throw caution to the wind when you’re not the one that’s footing the bill. Using the corporate world as an example again, problems arise when employees abuse their expense accounts for frivolous and unnecessary things. In a perfect world, there’s a lot of checks and balances in place that catch that behavior before it metastasizes into a larger problem. Call us crazy, but it seems like there need to be some more checks and balances put in place for government officials that view tax dollars in the same fashion as an expense account.

Source: Newsmax
Photo: YouTube

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