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Panetta says he regrets cost of trips home


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WestVirginiaRebel

panetta-says-he-regrets-cost-trips-homeMercury News:

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday he regrets the cost to taxpayers for his weekend trips to his Carmel Valley home, but says it's important "just to get your mind straight and your perspective straight." Panetta said he'd try to find some savings, with each round trip costing approximately $32,000. "I regret ... that it does add costs that the taxpayer has to pick up," Panetta said during a Pentagon briefing Monday, speaking publicly for the first time about the flight costs. "A taxpayer would have to pick up those costs with any secretary of state or secretary of defense. But having said that, I am trying to look at what are ... the alternatives here that I can look at that might possibly be able to save funds and, at the same time, be able to fulfill my responsibilities, not only to my job, but to my family." The Associated Press earlier this month detailed the costs of the 27 roundtrip flights home Panetta has taken since he became Pentagon chief last July, as well as the amount he has reimbursed the government for the trips. Panetta is required to travel on military aircraft so he can remain in constant, secure contact with the White House and other top civilian and military leaders. And he routinely works, makes phone calls and, when necessary, travels a short distance for secure video conferences while he is at home at his family's walnut farm. His bill for the travel is calculated according to reimbursement formulas dictated by longstanding federal policies using what a full-fare coach trip would cost. The Pentagon says it costs about $3,200 per flight hour to operate the small plane he usually uses for the 10-hour round trip. He has reimbursed the Treasury about $17,000 for the travel, based on a government formula, or about $630 per round trip.

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Actually, when compared to the GSA and the Secret Service, Mr. Panetta is a model of responsibility.

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I'm sorry but don't most people have to move their family where their job is. This is ridiculous.

Not when someone else is paying the gravy train.

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What blows my mind is that a man with his responsibility has the time to fly home every weekend. I've held jobs in the military with WAAAAAY less responsibility but had to work almost every weekend.

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Actually, when compared to the GSA and the Secret Service, Mr. Panetta is a model of responsibility.

 

 

He may be a nice home boy, but per the article, his trip cost as much as the GSA shindig: $860,000.

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