As we all know, the White House cancelled tours because the sequester required a $24 million cut in the White House budget:
Obama administration spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Thursday that “detailed decisions” have yet to be made about how the administration would meet a projected $24 million reduction to the executive office budget, which may include furloughs of presidential aides and other employees.
Much criticism of the President’s decision has (quite appropriately) focused on other current ridiculous expenditures. Kimberly Strassel highlights some in the Wall Street Journal:
We’ve learned that the White House employs three calligraphers, who cumulatively earn $277,000 a year. The Environmental Protection Agency gave $141,000 to fund a Chinese study on swine manure. Part of a $325,000 National Science Foundation outlay went to building a robotic squirrel.
The government gave a $3,700 grant to build a miniature street in West Virginia—out of Legos. It shelled out $500,000 to support specialty shampoo products for cats and dogs. A San Diego outfit got $10,000 for trolley dancing. The feds last year held 894 conferences that each cost more than $100,000—$340 million altogether. But Mr. Obama is too broke to let American kids look around the White House.
Politico compiled numerous Obama claims about the sequester that were shot down by fact checkers (Google cache link to the honor the boycott). And the Pinocchios keep coming, with the latest lie being about vaccine statistics. Somehow John Boehner found a way to keep the Capitol open — but that’s because he wants to.
But let’s not forget Obama’s past profligacy. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane together, shall we?
Remember the Obamas’ date night in June 2009?
The L.A. Times gushed:
[T]he impossibly elegant Obamas — he was sleek and tie-less, she wore black — have only raised the bar with a third date night since Inauguration Day.
They flew to John F. Kennedy International Airport in a mini Air Force One, (who knew it came in mini?) helicoptered into Manhattan, ate organic in a chic Greenwich Village restaurant (known to elicit “ecstatic whispering about the quality of summer peas”) and saw a play that didn’t even have show tunes.
This opened a floodgate for detractors, mostly Republicans, who squawked that the First Couple’s motorcade had inconvenienced much of New York and blown a wad of taxpayer money just as General Motors was going belly up.
Damn squawking Republicans.
Then there are the vacations. One estimate puts the total cost of Obama’s vacations at $20 million.
Given that much of the cost involves transporting the First Family and its retinue, the Obamas could have saved taxpayers millions by doing what the vast majority of Americans do: taking either one trip a year, or none.
The Obamas get plenty of vacation. They have sojourned every summer in Martha’s Vineyard except for last year, when campaigning and pre-election concern about appearances got in the way. They often take a side trip somewhere else during the year, and Michelle goes skiing annually out West.
At the very least, they could spend their Christmas holidays at Camp David or at one of the many fine resorts outside of Washington, which would require only the use of the presidential helicopter to get them there.
Remember that Obama once said: “If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, you might put off a vacation.” Do as I say, not as I do.
This is a guy who played his 100th round of golf as President in June 2012 — an average of one six-hour round every 12 days.
Also, Obama’s first inauguration cost $170 million, and the latest one likely cost $180 million. (Some claim Bush’s 2005 inauguration cost almost as much in today’s dollars, but we weren’t in a horrible economic downturn then.) Maybe less lobster and grilled bison? Did there have to be 10 inauguration balls in 2009? Etc.
Obama celebrated his disgustingly porky stimulus package with Wagyu steak — which can cost as much as $50 for 100 grams (about 4 ounces). He told us that “[w]e can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times” — but then cranked up the thermostat in the Oval Office hot enough to grow orchids.
From the second he took office, he has lived it up like a king. And now that a piddling $24 million must come out of his budget, the kids who want to see the White House are the ones who have to suffer.
Appalling? Yes. Surprising? No.