“Ignorance and Economics”
Science versus Expediency

Hypocrisy at the Top

By Jonathan B. Wight

Most people would agree that the federal budget is bloated and expenses can be cut. 

One of the supposed champions of this idea is Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services.  Except it turns out Price has been jetting around the Northeast on private chartered jets at government expense.

JetA recent trip to Philadelphia that should have cost under $150 roundtrip in gas and tolls, or an equivalent amount if by train, may have actually cost up to $25,000 for a private jet.

Price isn’t the only cabinet secretary to be afflicted by the disease of grandiosity.  Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and his wife have likewise flirted with ridiculous airplane demands.   And the Trumps ... well, you know the story of their travel expenses.

There is more than just the cost.  The biggest problem with treating yourself as different from the masses is that you start to believe you are special or entitled.  It’s hard to empathize with the people you are supposed to be serving when this insidious idea creeps into your head. 

Taking a commercial flight—in the tourist class section—will quickly bring most people back to reality.  Even that flight is a privilege. 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

"Most people would agree that the federal budget is bloated and expenses can be cut."

I think this might be begging the question.

Many (perhaps a share lesser than "most") may agree with the first part of your statement. As to the second part, this is trickier. You might be on to something if you were to phrase it as "... and expenses which do not benefit them directly can be cut."

Most sentiment in favor of some variant of "small government," in my experience is more an expression of horror at the notion of "those people" getting something from government, whoever "those people" happen to be to the speaker.

While I know there are some true, genuinely principled "small government" people, they're slightly more common than hen's teeth, and considerably less common than the blue moon.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)