International Monetary Fund / Flickr steve mnuchin...
International Monetary Fund / Flickr

Donald Trump openly bragged about assembling the wealthiest cabinet in history, stocking his administration with millionaires and billionaires. Apparently these folks are unaccustomed to traveling with us little people and Treasury Secretary Steve “Foreclosure King” Mnuchin is no exception. The New York Times reports he has taken seven flights since March, costing American taxpayers an astonishing $800,000: 

Treasury secretaries generally take commercial flights except in extenuating circumstances because of the exorbitant costs of using military planes.

For instance, Mr. Mnuchin’s June flight to Miami for a meeting with the Mexican finance minister cost $43,725.50. While the flight was approved, the Treasury Department’s travel office sent a note to Mr. Mnuchin’s assistant that a round-trip commercial flight would cost just $688.

An Aug. 15 trip on a Gulfstream V that Mr. Mnuchin took to see Mr. Trump at Trump Tower in New York to discuss tax reform and tariffs cost $15,112.50. According to an internal email cited by the inspector general, Mr. Mnuchin needed to use the plane so that he could conduct a classified telephone conversation with Rex W. Tillerson, the secretary of state.

Amtrak tickets between New York and Washington can often be had for under $100 each way, though private conversations can and are often overheard.

Yes, we paid $43,725.50 for a flight when a $688 commercial fight was available. It’s gross hypocrisy from the so-called “fiscally conservative” party. Republicans are hellbent on slashing every budget item and services for the elderly, poor, disabled and children in this country, but when it comes to air travel, it is nothing but the best for this billionaire dream team!

Nothing the treasury secretary has done is illegal, but the inspector general’s office has reportedly repeatedly chastised Mnuchin for their flimsy explanations. 

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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