Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has come under fire for purchasing a $31,000 dining set for his office, and misleading the public about his involvement in the decision. But, according to Jonathan Swan, chief of staff John Kelly today defended the purchase to reporters as a wise long-term investment:
Kelly said $31,000 sounds like a lot of money, but to put it in context he asked a reporter how much they think the chair they’re sitting on costs. Kelly said it’s probably worth hundreds of dollars but it will last a long time. He rationalized Carson’s $31,000 outlay by saying the table could last for 80 or 100 years.
Trump’s administration isn’t always big on long-term planning when it comes to things like climate change, where the 100-year picture is not exactly foremost on anybody’s mind. But at least they’re thinking long term about the executive dining needs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Our grandchildren may lose some coastal cities we currently enjoy, but they can rest assured they will never need to fund another dining set for the HUD secretary.