Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education—one more time for emphasis, she’s the Secretary of Education—is costing taxpayers millions to protect her from hecklers.
According to a report from NBC News on Friday, DeVos will have racked up a $19.8 million bill by next September, all charged to the U.S. Marshals Service for constant protection. As NBC reported, her security detail ran taxpayers $5.3 million in 2016 and $6.8 million in 2018; the services are expected to burn through another $7.7 million come 2019. She is presently the only Cabinet member with Marshals by her side at all times.
NBC wasn’t able to uncover who actually made the request to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the increased coverage, but the reason is obvious enough: Sessions approved the request for Marshals’ protection on Feb. 13, 2017, just three days after protestors blocked her from entering Jefferson Middle School Academy in Washington, DC.
Since then, DeVos—who just signed off on protocols that will swing the power back to the accused in cases of sexual harassment on college campuses—has been heckled and jeered almost everywhere she’s gone, including Bethune-Cookman University, Grand Rapids, MI, and McMiniville, OR.
DeVos is ripe for public ridicule. She’s an insanely wealthy private school hawk who will do anything to make public schools obsolete so the rich flee them for charter and private schools, leaving the public system to decay and eventually collapse in upon itself. It doesn’t hurt that she’s weighed tossing guns in school and has done her damnedest to help predatory lenders fuck over 18-year-olds. And as NBC’s reporting shows, while she apparently takes issue with taxes paying for education, she has no problem spending that same cash to make sure nobody can get within spitting distance, lest they inform her of just how big of an asshole she really is.
The only thing worse than an unabashed grifter is a grifter with thin skin.