Vice President Biden has been flying home to Wilmington, Delaware most weekends at enormous expense to taxpayers, even though he has an exclusive government-provided residence in Washington.
Biden himself acknowledged the flights during recent remarks to the National Association of Attorneys General, noting that the sequester would force him to temporarily alter his expensive habit and use the train instead.
According to reports, Biden generally uses Air Force Two to get to Wilmington.
The cost of flying Air Force Two, a military version of the Boeing 757-200, amounts to about $8,800 per hour, according to the most recent federal data.
The distance between Washington and Wilmington is only about a hundred miles, but it’s safe to assume that between flying time and the time spent on the takeoff and landing, the total flight takes at least 45 minutes. That would amount to a roundtrip cost to taxpayers of about $13,200.
This price still is conservative, though, because it doesn’t include the cost of transporting Biden to and from the plane, both in Washington and Delaware.
Biden, who rode Amtrak trains back and forth to Wilmington on weekends for years as a senator, said he was forced by the Secret Service to use air transport instead of the train when he became vice president. But it’s not at all clear why, given that he no longer represents Delaware, he must return there so frequently.
Biden has family in Delaware and reportedly also likes to golf at an exclusive club there. But in an era of soaring debt, he had been making a choice to spend thousands of taxpayers dollars to accomodate a personal predilection.
Millions of American work in cities that they don’t call home, but few can afford the expense of returning to their ancestral grounds regularly.
And none can rest their heads on pillows at the beautiful vice president’s mansion at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington.