The drunken-sailor school of fiscal responsibility
This sort of thing happens all the time - we see an expense total that looks outrageous enough on the surface, but then you start digging into the numbers and it seems impossible for even Uncle Sam to have wasted so much money, so quickly. To say that nobody involved in these little spending sprees is doing even the most elementary comparison shopping or cost-cutting would be an understatement.
Whenever we point out these insane abuses, we hear liberals saying "oh, come on, relax, what's half a million bucks compared to government spending? Washington blows through that much money ever 45 seconds. These little extravagances are not the driving force behind the budget deficit. And besides, our top officials have to look rich and powerful to impress their counterparts from other countries."
But it's not hard to see how this mindset infiltrates government spending at every level. Money is no object; it flows without limit, and Washington can just keep printing up dollars until the rubes out in flyover country get nervous about the national debt - at which point they'll be told the debt accumulated by irresponsible politicians is now an iron-clad argument for tax increases.
Expecting fiscal restraint from the boobs who think nothing of blowing millions on all-expenses-paid junkets for their huge imperial contingents is insane. If nobody in the upper echelons of the federal government behaves as if there's a spending problem, no one beneath them will believe it, either. That might be part of the point - besides very obviously enjoying the lavish perks of their offices, Biden and Obama want to send a message that the good times are still rolling for government. It helps their witless supporters keep their chins up when it's time to troll conservative websites and insist there's no debt crisis... unless, of course, we happen to be passing through one of those periods when the Left wants everyone to pony up more tax money, in which case there's a debt crisis, but it was entirely caused by rich people stealing The People's Money with unfair tax cuts and throwing themselves a big party.
Corporate CEOs have been known to throw money around too, but just imagine Shotgun Joe toddling before a shareholder meeting and trying to justify the $150k-per-head tab for taking his staff on a luxury joyride through London and Paris. Imagine him trying to explain why he made the trip in the first place.