Wisconsin families work too hard to let the government waste their money. In the spirit of former Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Bill Proxmire, I am continuing his work shedding light on government agencies and projects that waste your hard-earned tax dollars.

It recently came to light that since being appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price has used taxpayer dollars for at least two dozen flights on private planes. The use of private planes by the current administration is a departure from the policy of previous administrations. Past policy had cabinet secretaries use commercial travel within the United States. Each trip on a private plane is estimated to cost taxpayers $25,000.

Secretary Price used a private plane even when other options were readily available. For instance, when traveling to Philadelphia for an event instead of taking a commercial airline flight that left at the same time for around $500, or just driving the 140 miles. Instead, Secretary Price spent almost $25,000 to fly on a private plane.

This wasteful spending is even more outrageous given that it is happening at a time when to find savings the Department of Health and Human Services is proposing cuts to programs like the National Institutes of Health, which is responsible for finding cures for Alzheimer’s, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. It is time to re-evaluate priorities and put the needs of hard-working taxpayers over DC politicians.

The people of Wisconsin shouldn’t foot the bill for faulty programs and expensive travel. I will continue to keep a close eye on how the government is using taxpayer money and fight against government waste.

Democrat Ron Kind, La Crosse, represents Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District.

Editor’s note: Price resigned as HHS secretary Sept. 29.