There are still a few months to go in year 2017, but right now the leader for the Dumber Than Dumb Award in Government is Dr. Tom Price, who just resigned as Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary.
He departed federal government after it was learned of his excessive use of private jet and miliary flights. In his resignation letter, he said those acts were a “distraction” from important objectives of his department, especially the repeal of Obamacare.
The Washington, D.C., publication Politico reported Dr. Price had chartered at least 24 planes to domestic events and flown on military jets for trips to Europe and Asia, with a total cost of more than $1 million. After that disclosure, Dr. Price promised to end private jet travel and said he would reimburse the government more than $50,000 for chartered flights since May. HHS didn’t reveal the overall cost of the flights.
Now the House Oversight Committee is going to check on all flights funded by taxpayers and booked by senior Tump officials. Other cabinet officials have faced questions about travel expenses.
President Trump was upset by Price’s excessive travel costs, but praised his work. Now the White House Chief of Staff must give prior approval for all travel by top officials on government-owned, rented, leased or chartered planes.
Price served in the U.S. House since 2005 to the time earlier this year when he took over the leadership of HHS. For as long as he has been around the capital, he should have known that eventually it would become known and become public that he was abusing travel expenses paid by taxpayers. That’s why it was so wrong and dumb on his part.