This Ain't Hell's Jonn Lilyea points out the hypocrisy of the man calling for increasing the fees that the Obama Administration initiated on Military Retirees. While he only quotes the new enrollment fees, and doesn't mention the annual premiums and increases on prescription co-pays of more than 800%, the bigger story is just how much Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, is costing the Department of Defense for his personal travel.
Every weekend, Mr. Panetta takes a $32,000 trip, for which he pays $630. This is only the cost of air plane operation, equivalent to a Gulfstream jet, not the cost of his Security Detail, their lodging and meals, or any other part of the trip. He has paid $17,000 for the cost of coach fare on a common carrier, while enjoying the $860,000 perks of traveling on what amounts to a private jet, in about a year. That does not include the costs of moving his security detail, in addition to him, nor does it include the costs incurred when he decided to hold campaign speeches at the Presidio of Monterey or Naval Postgraduate School, so he wouldn't have to even pay the $630. There's been at least 9 times when he made sure to have "official business" in the direction of his weekend plans, or greater than 20% of the time.
Known for his bean counting and asking Congress to legislate what amounts to a tax on Military Retirement, while throwing Soldiers and Marines into the unemployment lines, he is defended by the Pentagon Press Secretary: