Never has there been a time in U.S. history when the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has needed to charter a private jet. To prove how unassuming the HHS secretary is, please name two previous secretaries of health and human services.
So the idea that current Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price couldn’t sit his regular ass down on a JetBlue economy flight is not only baffling, it’s insulting.
But that’s what happened. Politico reports that Price has chartered at least 26 flights since May, running up a tab and costing taxpayers some $400,000 to conduct official business inside the country.
Now he’s claiming that he’s going to pay back all the money.
“The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes,” Price said in a statement Thursday afternoon, according to Politico.
Turns out that Price means that literally. He chartered those flights, allowed his wife and members of his staff to fly on the flights that he chartered, and he’s only willing to pay back the cost of his seat.
Which means that although he chartered those flights costing taxpayers $400,000, he’s only writing a check to the U.S. Treasury for $51,887.31. The amount is based on the cost of a business class seat for Price for all the flights he chartered.
For the TL;DR crew, let me break this down:
- HHS bama Tom Price flew a mad number of private jets because he wanted to look bossy.
- He racked up $400,000 in private-jet flights on taxpayers’ dime.
- Swears he’s going to pay it all back.
- Writes check for $51,887.31, which would have been the cost of a business class seat for him for each of the flights he chartered.
If this isn’t a blatant “fuck you” to taxpayers, I don’t know what is. Here’s the kicker: Price then assured taxpayers that he will stop fake-flossing and will no longer charter flights.
“No exceptions,” he said, according to Politico.
But taxpayers are still paying for everyone else who was on these chartered flights that Price chartered? Got it. This is the equivalent of me walking into my local McDonald’s and stealing food for me and all my friends. When the manager walks over and says, “Hey, man, you’ve got to pay for that!” I agree. I tell him that I will pay for it all and then I pay for only what I’ve eaten and roll out, and I assure him that I won’t steal any more food.
Donald Trump is reportedly upset with Price. But I also believe that the president suffers from mental-health issues, so I doubt that he even knows who Price is, let alone cares what he’s doing with taxpayers’ money. There have also been calls for the president to fire Price, and in typical white-male-Republican fashion, Price has already said that he isn’t resigning. We will have to see how this unfolds, but if you’re thinking this is going to end with Price being fired, don’t get your hopes up.
Read more at Politico.