October 18, 2017
By Sam Berger and Claire Moser –
resident Donald Trump’s chief health advisor, Tom Price, was recently forced to resign when it was revealed that he had wasted more than a million dollars of taxpayer’s money on private plane travel. Yet, Scott Pruitt has also been brazenly wasting taxpayer money in ways that might be even worse.
As head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pruitt has spent more than $900,000 on expensive flights, unnecessary upgrades to his office, and a 24-hour security team. In addition to spending far more than his predecessors, Pruitt’s extravagant purchases have all served the same purpose: hiding him and his actions from the American people.
Pruitt’s wasteful spending is appalling, totaling more than 15 times the median household income in United States. Since June, he has spent more than $58,000 on just four charter flights, and now EPA’s internal watchdog is investigating all of his travel for more wasteful spending. He’s also putting almost $25,000 dollars of taxpayer’s money towards a “privacy booth” in his office, which he claims he needs to ensure soundproof, secure communications. Former EPA officials, meanwhile, called the move “bizarre” and a “head-scratcher.” And his security detail cost more than $830,000 in just his first three months – twice what security cost for the two prior EPA heads. Of course, all this could just be the tip of the iceberg; given Pruitt’s secrecy, it’s impossible to know just how much taxpayer money he’s wasting.