Continuing the pattern of Trump Cabinet appointees flagrantly using taxpayer dollars to live like rock stars, EPA Director Scott Pruitt has been getting raked over the coals for spending over $163,000 in first class, military, and charter flights in just one year. The right, once deeply appalled by government waste, is now deeply offended that anyone would dare criticize Trump's people for being historically wasteful and has leapt to the defense of Pruitt in possibly the dumbest way possible: Blame Obama.
If that sounds like something we would have heard the right screaming bloody murder about during the Obama administration, you're not crazy. If any of Obama's people had treated themselves like royalty on the taxpayer dime, it would have been a never ending scandal. Let's see what that looks like in reality:
Lisa Jackson, who was Obama's EPA director between 2009 and 2013, spent more than $332,000 on airfare and security for four international trips, on average $83,000 per trip, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Gina McCarthy, the agency’s director between 2013 and 2017, embarked on 10 international trips, spending nearly $630,000 on airfare and security, on average $63,000 per trip.
That's $332,000 for airfare and security for Jackson over 4 years and $630,000 for McCarthy. For some inexplicable reason (propaganda, the reason is propaganda), Fox and the Beacon are only focusing on international trips but even there, Pruitt comes out looking terrible.
From the same Fox News article:
The Trump appointee to the Environmental Protection Agency has gotten in hot water after revelations that taxpayers had to foot the bill for Pruitt's $120,000 trip to Italy last summer to attend a meeting of G-7 ministers and a private tour of the Vatican.
Let me carry the two, multiply the three, cross reference the flux capacitor and, yup, Pruitt managed to spend 36% of Jackson's 4 year budget and 19% of McCarthy's in one trip. One.
Yet, somehow, from this article, the reader is supposed to take away that Obama's directors were the more guilty party. Presumably because basic math is hard and propaganda relies on the subject having had their ability to think severely damaged by decades of conditioning.
To ease the unthinking Trump supporter along, Fox and the Beacon give them someone to blame just in case the numbers start to look a little fishy:
"The double standard couldn't be more clear: Under Barack Obama's EPA the media chose not to report on expenditures to protect the EPA administrator for international travel or the costs of their trips," Jahan Wilcox, an EPA spokesman, told the Washington Free Beacon."
But under the Trump administration the costs to protect our government officials is somehow scandalous."
And with that, the deal is sealed. Now that they know the lying liberal media is in on it, all higher mental processes are stopped cold and the lizard brain is fully activated. It's us versus them and they won't get away with it! Pruitt is now insulated from further scrutiny, for a while at least. As long as he can, ahem, fly under the radar for a while, white Republican voters will forget all about his waste of taxpayer money on luxury perks for himself.
Fortunately, Pruitt, like most of Trump's people, is a greedy, entitled oligarch wannabe and it's doubtful he'll keep his head down for long. He'll chafe at having to be around the filthy little people and go back to spending massive amounts of our money to live like a rock star again.
And then he'll be gone.