Despite public disgust at Nancy Pelosi’s abuse of military aircraft for her personal travel, Pelosi did not curtail that abuse toward the end of her time in power. (And why should she? She wasn’t elected by the people, but by the House Democratic caucus.) The numbers gives us an ugly perspective on our ruling class’s sense of entitlement.
During the nine months from January 1 to October 1, 2010, Pelosi availed herself of Air Force aircraft for 43 flights. That’s about the same rate as the previous nine months, in which Pelosi used military aircraft for 47 flights.
How much has Pelosi’s profligate use of military aircraft cost the taxpayer? Plenty:
According to previous documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the former Speaker’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over one two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.
We don’t know how much the last year cost, but we have no reason to suspect her trips have gotten any cheaper. In fact, the Air Force refused to provide expense information for half of the flights, which can’t be a good sign.
It wasn’t just Pelosi’s travel that was extravagant. She also managed to find an extravagant way not to travel:
Judicial Watch also previously uncovered internal Department of Defense (DOD) email correspondence detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosi’s numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker’s last minute cancellations and changes. For example, in response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one DOD official wrote, “Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi’s team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?…[T]here’s no need to block every weekend ‘just in case’…” The email also notes that Pelosi’s office had, “a history of canceling many of their past requests.”
Air Pelosi is finally grounded, and Speaker Boehner will be flying commercial.