Chump change

Gee it’s almost as if Trump’s people see a job in his administration as an opportunity to milk taxpayers for those sweet luxuries that corrupt rich people enjoy so much.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will face an inspector general’s investigation into his reported use of chartered jets for at least two dozen flights in recent months at taxpayer expense.

A spokeswoman for HHS Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson told The Washington Post on Friday that the agency will request records of Price’s travel and review the justification made by Price and his staff for the trips, which reportedly cost taxpayers a combined $300,000.

House Democrats wrote to Levinson, an appointee of President George W. Bush, on Wednesday requesting the investigation. They said the flights appeared to violate federal law designed to make sure executive branch officials use the most economical travel available.

There’s a federal law about that? I guess nobody remembered to give Price the pamphlet.

Price’s office this week sought to justify his use of chartered jets, saying that the secretary’s office evaluates the most effective way for him to travel and finds that it is sometimes necessary to charter planes to allow Price to both manage one of the largest executive branch agencies and stay grounded with voters.

“This is Secretary Price, getting outside of D.C., making sure he is connected with the real American people,” said Charmaine Yoest, his assistant secretary for public affairs.

The real American people are accessible only via chartered jet? Why is that exactly?

On Friday, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform panel called on House Republicans to hold a hearing into Price’s travel and asked Price for details on the number of non-commercial flights that he or other agency officials took, how much they cost and any documents justifying the private-jet travel.

“If these recent reports are accurate, this would be a stunning and hypocritical breach of trust, given that the Trump Administration at the same time is trying to take away healthcare from millions of Americans and is proposing to slash funding at HHS — negatively affecting critical programs to provide early-childhood education, fund Medicare for seniors, and conduct medical research and development,” wrote Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in his letter to HHS.

Maybe they aren’t the real American people.

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