Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has cost taxpayers more than $1 million, thanks to his penchant for taking private and military jets on the public dime. The man who criticized House Democrats in 2009 for trying to purchase a handful of planes as "another example of fiscal irresponsibility run amok in Congress" used a government jet to visit his son in Nashville for a leisurely lunch in June in-between a tour of a local medication dispensary and a 20-minute speech. He also took a trip from Washington, DC, to Philadelphia that somehow cost $25,000, plus some two dozen other domestic excursions, as Politico revealed.
On those flights, the Georgia conservative spent more than $400,000, plus his trips to Europe, Africa, and Asia on military aircraft cost upward of $500,000 more.
"The taxpayers won't pay a dime for my seat on those planes," an increasingly embattled Price said Thursday, having earned the public disapproval of Donald Trump. But an HHS spokesperson clarified that Price will only reimburse the government $51,887.31, a little more than 5 percent of the costs he's incurred, the idea being to cover the price of his own seat and nothing more.
"I have spent 40 years both as a doctor and in public service putting people first," Price also said in his statement Thursday. "It has been my personal honor to serve the American people, and I look forward to continuing that service." But that seems doubtful.
Price is a Republican who has presented himself as a fierce opponent of wasteful spending and has (pretty poorly) advocated for the elimination of government funding for your healthcare. He wants to slash Medicaid for the poor, and proposed an 18 percent budget cut the National Institutes of Health. Oh, and he once tweeted, "Congress doesn't need to have private jets."
Secretary Price, you greedy little binch, pay the government back. For of the total cost of all your flights. Now.
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