"Wise stewardship?"

Published June 16, 2004 5:19PM (EDT)

In a speech on April 15, President Bush said: "People ... expect from their public service (sic) a wise stewardship of the taxpayers' money." Well, this is true.

Yet we have another example today of the president's waste of taxpayers' money financing his reelection efforts.

Why, you might ask did White House "advance" aides order the Pentagon, with one day's notice, to build a $100,000 platform -- with red carpet, a walkway and an artificial island -- over a memorial pool at the U.S. cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer during the D-Day 60th anniversary?

So Bush and French President Jacques Chirac could "walk in style to the dais," the New York Daily News reports. "That money will have to come out of some account that otherwise would be spent on soldiers," a source told the newspaper.

The Progress Report points out today that "the revelations about the Bush administration's disregard for taxpayer money are not new. Last year, the president had the government spend about $1 million for his aircraft carrier photo-op when he declared major combat over in Iraq. In 2001, the administration spent $34 million to send every taxpayer a letter trumpeting the president's tax cuts for the wealthy. And as AP reports, 'President Bush is using Air Force One for re-election travel more heavily than any predecessor, wringing maximum political mileage from a perk of office paid for by taxpayers.' Air Force One costs roughly $56,800-per-hour to run, and Bush is forcing the government to pick up most of the tab of his 68,000 miles traveled, much of it to swing states where he holds campaign events."

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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