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Perks: Bad management at EPA, VA


February 18. 2018 1:29AM

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, left, and VA Secretary David Shulkin. (Molly Riley/Sipa USA/TNS; REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)



EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says his security team insists that he fly first class.

VA Secretary David Shulkin says he was working on improving care at the Manchester VA Medical Center when he improperly used taxpayer funds during a nine-day vacation at Wimbledon last July. Both men need to step up and take responsibility for the lax management under their watches, and stop treating their Cabinet positions as nests feathered with taxpayer-funded perks.

Perhaps Pruitt's security detail did book him into first- and business-class seats. But Pruitt had the authority to question this extravagance. It seemingly never occurred to him.

Shulkin's chief of staff is retiring after misleading ethics officials to secure approval for Shulkin's wife to join him on the European trip.

We've applauded Shulkin's work in Manchester, but such disdain for the rules undermines Shulkin's efforts to bring accountability to the VA health care system.

Taxpayer-funded travel isn't going to make much of a difference in the trillion dollar annual deficits projected under the Trump budget. But it would be nice if top government officials showed some effort to watch out for the bottom line, rather than their own convenience.


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