Should you or I wish to fly from Washington DC to Bogota, Colombia and back, Orbitz discloses a nice flight taking a little over 5 hours each way on an Avianca Airlines Airbus 319. The total cost is $491. A federal bureaucrat recently managed to spend 260 times as much to make the same trip.
Marisa Taylor, reported in McClatchy Newspaper that DEA bureaucrats hired an extravagantly costly private jet when traveling from the American capitol to the Colombian capitol late last October. The (acting) DEA administrator had many choices for her flight.
- She could have flown commercial, like the rest of us, for less than $500.
She could have flown commercial first class, for about twice that much. Many taxpayers, though, feel that bureaucrats should not be flying first class. We sit back in coach, paying not only the government employee’s salary but also their privilege up in front?
- She could have use one of the 100 + aircraft in the DEA’s air force. However, using an airplane just for her transportation flaunts taxpayer values and is a climate mini-disaster pouring tons of carbon into the atmosphere.
Barring the availability of the DEA aircraft, she could have borrowed a plane from another government agency.
- But instead, the DEA paid a contractor $5,380 to hire another contractor to fly her to Bogota and back for $123,750!
The (acting) DEA administrator’s flight was just weeks before auto execs were chastised by congress for flying to Washington in company jets in their search of government assistance. At least these auto exec flew in on their own company aircraft, not hiring pricey chartered jets for 10 times the cost as did the DEA bureaucrat. And the auto companies own just a few planes each, the DEA owns 106.
- One other difference, the auto exec’s salaries were paid by private industry (at that point, at least). The agency administrator draws her salary (and bloated pension) from the taxpayer trough. Check the McClatchy Newspaper article for the agency’s pathetic justification of such bureaucratic extravagance in an age of economic peril.