US Defense Secretary Flies Home On Weekends, Each Trip Costs Tax Payers $30,000

When US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hops on a military jet to fly home to California from Washington on many weekends it costs

U.S. taxpayers nearly $30,000 round trip, Panetta however only pays the price of a commercial coach airline ticket.

When Panetta took his post in the Obama Administration he explained his plans to visit family, an administrator says of his time spent traveling:

“The White House understood when Mr. Panetta took the job that he would return to Monterey to visit his family, as he did when he was director of the CIA.”

The cost is so expensive because the Defense Secretary is required to fly on specially equipped military jets rather than standard commercial aircraft and those jets cost $3,200 per hour to operate.

In his defense his co-workers say even when at home:

“He works virtually nonstop wherever he is, including on the weekends, and believes that he does some of his best thinking when he’s away from Washington.”

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill says he “should speak to” the issue “in light of the cuts we are going to have to do everywhere.”

Do you think such ridiculous government spending during a time when we are trying to cut $1.2 trillion from the US budget over the next 10 ears should be allowed?

[via Los Angeles Times]