What lasts 45 minutes, has a ridiculous weave, and costs taxpayers an uncool $13,200? It’s Vice President Joe Biden flying a distance of 111 miles from Washington, D.C., to his home in Wilmington, Del., on weekends aboard Air Force Two.
Despite having the keys to a rather opulent government-provided residence in Washington, Biden — who made much of the fact during the run-up to the 2008 election that he traveled home religiously on weekends to be with his children after his first wife died — still makes the trip regularly. But instead of traveling by Amtrak, as he did some 8,000 times as a U.S. senator, he now spends $8,800 per hour using the military version of a Boeing 757-200.
According to FOX News, Biden himself acknowledged the wastefulness of this arrangement in late February. Speaking at a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General, he allowed as how the decision to fly was made for him the Secret Service, which cautioned that the train, in Biden’s words, “gives too many opportunities for people to interact with me in a way they wouldn’t like to see.”
But with sequestration causing everyone to cinch his belt a notch tighter, Biden says he told his security detail: “Look guys, I’ve got to take the train now — it’s cheaper than flying.” But Biden’s story doesn’t wash. if the option to override the Secret Service was available to him all along, why didn’t he exercise it in the first place and save taxpayers some money?
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