Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the GOP presidential candidate who rants and rails against government waste, doesn’t mind sticking it to taxpayers when it comes to his own comfort.
The Associated Press discovered Paul billed taxpayers 52 grand for traveling by air between Washington and his Congressional district since May 2009, flying first class on at least 31 round trip flights and another dozen one-way trips.
As a Congressman, Paul qualifies for a low government rate if he purchases the cheaper economy tickets but chooses instead to shell out double that amount for full-fare, fully-refundable tickets, that — among other things — gives him a better shot at an upgrade to first class.
“We always get him full refundable tickets since the congressional schedule sometimes changes quickly,” Paul’s chief of staff, Jeff Deist, told the AP.
But the AP compared Paul’s travel schedule and the House’s schedule and found the Congressman rarely changes his flights and the tickets are normally purchased at least two-weeks in advance, which would qualify for the lower fare.
Paul, in his campaign propaganda, claims he is “the most frugal and serious deficit hawk” in Congress.
Not so, a former campaign aide tells Capitol Hill Blue.
“Dr. Paul likes to fly first class,” the aide said. “He gets downright pissy if he has to fly back in coach.”
In Washington, there’s an old saying that “money talks and bullshit walks.”
Step carefully, folks. The good doctor is leaving a lot of smelly stuff in his wake.
- Paul fights Washington spending, flies first class (sfgate.com)
- Ron Paul Defends First Class Flights (huffingtonpost.com)