Grover Norquist once said something that really just resonated with all his comrades. “I don’t want to abolish government,” he explained. “I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”
He was the Andrea Yates of government bathtub drowning before bathtub drowning was cool! But though Norquist is no longer much-loved among his fellow Republicans (because he is, they say, a secret Muslim, as are so very many people), his gentle words of love live on.
These days, it’s Tom Price, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is doing his part to murder his department so we can “deconstruct” government completely. He is doing this by first cutting $12 billion from it (this he says will “lead to better care”). Then, in case there is any money accidentally left, he will suck out the rest and spend it on a much more deserving recipient than the old people and children with developmental disabilities who usually leech off it: himself!
Politico has found $300,000 he’s spent on private jets for himself, just since May! And he continued taking private jets — at a cost of sometimes $25,000 per flight — even after they broke the story!
After a POLITICO investigation identified five private flights that Price took up and down the East Coast last week, Price took a charter jet to Oklahoma on Tuesday of this week, Sept. 19, where he met with Native American tribes and toured health care facilities by car — although HHS initially explored flying him by charter around the state, two people with knowledge of Price’s travels said. “There was a push from political [staff] at HHS to fly him and not drive him to these small communities,” said one of the people.
Price’s staff cut short his news conference in Oklahoma on Wednesday when reporters raised questions about his use of taxpayer funds, an attendee said.
Of course, Price used to rail about the cost of wasteful transportation, but that was when other people did it, so fuck them.
When Tom Price was a mere inside-trading member of Congress, he was really tough on wasteful government spending, as CNBC notes; in 2009, Price pared down a Democratic budget request to buy the government eight passenger jets for $550 million, to be used on various official travel needs. He wasn’t even satisfied when he cut that request in half:
“I think we’ve made it halfway of where we ought to and that is cut it from eight to four jets,” Price said at the time. “Now we need to cut it from four jets to zero jets. This is just another example of fiscal irresponsibility run amok in Congress right now.”
This is just not the kind of bathtub drowning people want to see. It looks … gauche. (And no, AP, Betsy DeVos taking her own private jet is not the same thing, there is no need to gin shit up.)
Back in the day, diving into bathtubs full of taxpayer money was exactly the kind of thing that could get someone quit-fired. (When we taught “political scandals” at UC Irvine, we had a hierarchy of when Attention Would Be Paid. It went: 1) Sex. 2) Money. 3) Abuse of power. People don’t pay attention to “3.”) We have yet to see the same consequences in the
Ferdinand Marcos Donald Trump administration. BUT LET’S SAY they happened! Let’s say Bubba and Maw watch their bit of the news. “This twerp can’t stop charging us to take private jets” is a thing Bubba and Maw relate to! “It’s one thing for Donald Trump to put marble sinks in Air Force One,” says Bubba. “But fuck that little peckerwood cabinet man thinking he is better than me.” Then Maw gets Bubba an Old Milwaukee, and he slaps her ass. Good girl.
Let’s say the outcry is such that Tom Price actually resigns. We have a question.
Yes sir, it is a real puzzler.
Wonkette never takes private jets. We take the Wonkebago, to come visit YOU! Help a sister out!