BOSTON (CBS) – If there is one thing that people across the political spectrum cannot stand, it’s the thought that their tax dollars are being squandered by arrogant politicians for their own personal enjoyment. Sometimes, that impulse is partisan – most Democrats said nothing when the Obamas spent lavishly on personal travel while in office; most Republicans are similarly mute at the sight of the Trumps making Obama’s travel spending look frugal.
But there seems to be little partisan divide over the behavior of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who seems to view his new position as an opportunity to see the world and live the high life on the taxpayers’ dime.
Earlier revelations about Pruitt tricking out his offices with costly decorations and a $43,000 soundproof booth, and more recent reports that he paid a bargain-rate rental for a room in a D.C. townhouse owned by an energy lobbyist, have now been topped by allegations from a former top deputy who worked on the Trump campaign that Pruitt ordered aides to drum up sham official business to justify junkets to places he wanted to visit, including foreign travel and trips to Oklahoma for long weekends at his home there.
And on two of those foreign trips, Pruitt allegedly ignored officially recommended hotels with built-in security in favor of pricier spots where his expensive security team had to be brought in.
Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are crying foul about all this, and when they agree on anything these days, you know it’s bad. So I guess we should thank Scott Pruitt, for bringing divided Americans together.