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The price is RIDONKULOUS


Would you believe that while Donald Trump is getting set to ask for more tax cuts for the Mega-Wealthy (he'll just redefine "middle class" up to include billionaires -- real ones, even), ABC News reported yesterday that Trump's own mega-wealthy Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has triggered an Inspector General's investigation. Earlier this summer, Mnuchin married his Instagram-perfect sweetheart, Louise Linton, and for his honeymoon, he requested the use of an Air Force executive jet to fly him and his bride around Italy, France, and Scotland, at the low, low price of just $25,000 an hour.

Now before you get all silly with your tut-tuttings about government waste for a guy worth over $300 million, keep in mind that while the written request for the government jet was submitted, it was withdrawn when it was "eventually deemed unnecessary after further consideration of by Treasury Department officials." So no big whoop! Even so, some people seem to think it was a big deal that Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs alum with plenty of his own goddamned money to pay for his own goddamned travel, even asked:

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said in an interview with ABC News that Mnuchin's request for a government jet on his honeymoon defies common sense.

"You don't need a giant rulebook of government requirements to just say yourself, 'This is common sense, it's wrong,'" Wyden said. "That's just slap your forehead stuff."

Nice, Mr. Wyden, going for the bald jokes. Racist.

Mnuchin apparently thought he needed the Air Force to tote him, his sweetie, and all their shopping bags all over Europe because "secure communications," because what a horror it would be if he needed to do important Treasury business without a fully loaded secure jet:

“The Secretary is a member of the National Security Council and has responsibility for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence," [a Treasury Department] spokesman said in a statement. "It is imperative that he have access to secure communications, and it is our practice to consider a wide range of options to ensure he has these capabilities during his travel, including the possible use of military aircraft."

Apparently, Mnuchin was spared the indignity of dragging a flying SCIF all over the world, since the department arranged "other methods of secure communications" and the Mnuchins were somehow able to travel at their own expense. ABC notes, rather tartly, that the use of military aircraft for cabinet members is "typically reserved for cabinet members who deal directly with national security, such as the Secretaries of Defense and State." Just as long as there's a nice comfy pillow for napping, Rex Tillerson is good.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, no, other administrations didn't try to pull this shit: ABC cites a "former senior Treasury official" who worked with Barack Obama's Treasury secretary, Jack Lew; that official said the only time Lew would have used a government plane would be when he was traveling on foreign business, when security really would be an issue.

As for private travel, "there's not a chance in hell that Secretary Lew would have considered using military air," this former official said.

Aw, jeez, give poor Mnuchin a break -- they're all new to this "government" stuff, so maybe he figured if he was going waterskiing, he could have one of those bitchin' fast Littoral Combat Ships pull him.

Funny thing; this is of course Mnuchin's second public embarrassment involving travel on the public dime. In August, he and Linton flew via Uncle Sam Air to Kentucky on an official trip that also included some eclipse-gazing (please hum "You're So Vain" here), when Linton got into that cute flap over all her designer hashtags:

And while she was busy talking down to a prole who dared question her extravagance, Linton actually asked, "EMOJI Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol."

Sort of have to wonder whether she knew Steve-bae (EMOJI!) had actually asked for that very thing. Mnuchin's use of that jet in August is also being reviewed at by Treasury's Inspector General. We wonder if Linton will have a Mean Girl Tweet about that. In the meantime, shouldn't the secretary just buy his own damn jet? They even have timeshares, for Trump Cabinet Members Who Are Only Three Hundred Millionaires Instead Of Amway Heiresses, sad, poor, LOL.

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[ABC News]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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