Is This Fiscal Conservatism? Republican Ben Carson Thinks So

Every hour there is another absurdity from the Trump Administration.  This time we see conservative fiscal management in action!

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (Hud) has agreed to spend $165,000 on “lounge furniture” for its Washington headquarters, in addition to a $31,000 dining set purchased for housing secretary Ben Carson’s office.

The revelations on Tuesday of Carson’s expensive decor spending come as Donald Trump’s administration has proposed a cut of $6.8bn to Hud’s annual budget, or roughly 14% of its total spending, which would lead to reductions in programs aimed at poor and homeless Americans.

Department officials signed a contract last September with an Indiana-based seller for the furniture, according to a federal procurement record.

Raffi Williams, a spokesman for Hud, said in an email Tuesday evening that further records on the lounge furniture contract were not immediately available.

Earlier on Tuesday it emerged that the department had agreed to spend $31,000 on a dining table and accompanying items for Carson’s offices. Last week, Williams falsely denied to the Guardian that such a table had been bought.

Helen Foster said she was told “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair” after informing her bosses that this was the legal price limit for improvements to Carson’s suite of offices. Her complaint was filed to the office of special counsel (OSC).

Williams made false statements to the Guardian in emails last Friday while an article on Foster’s claims was being prepared.

“When it comes to the secretary’s office, the only money HUD spent was $3,200 to put up new blinds in his office and the deputy secretary’s office,” Williams said in an email, declaring this information to be “on background” without prior agreement.

Asked to confirm, as the Guardian had been told by a source, that “a new dining-room-style table was also purchased”, Williams replied: “Yeah, that’s inaccurate.” After news of Foster’s complaint was followed by US media, Williams confirmed on Tuesday that $31,000 was in fact spent on a new dining set for Carson’s offices.

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