One of the first casualties of the infamous sequester budget cuts was public tours of the White House. No more White House tours for the American commoners as of the beginning of this week until further notice due to cuts in Secret Service staffing.
You’ll hear no complaints from me over this one. Even though it is transparently obvious that this was done by the Obama Administration for the sole purpose of inciting the sheeple’s anger toward the Republican Party for its role in the sequester “crisis” – a million other bloated programs should have been cut first -- I’m happy that at least something was cut.
These free tours were costing the taxpayers upwards of $74,000 every week. Not just anyone could qualify for the privilege of touring the White House. The special perks were doled out exclusively by congressmen to their loyal constituents for the purpose of making political points. That’s how Washington works.
In all fairness, the privilege should have been open to all upon a first come first served paid basis, just like tours of national parks, so that taxpayer dollars would not be wasted on only a few lucky individuals. Were that the case the tours would not need to be cancelled.
"Canceling all self-guided White House tours is the latest shameless political stunt by the president, who is twisting basic government efficiency into an extreme consequence," Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., whined in a statement.
"The President and the first lady have throughout the time that they've been here made extraordinary efforts to make this the people's house, and it is extremely unfortunate that we have a situation like the sequester that compels the kinds of tradeoffs and decisions that this represents," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained with a straight face to the angry politicians now deprived of their free drops of pork gravy.
So Secret Service staffing was cut thereby eliminating the $74,000 per week White House tours while the entire Obama family continues its outrageous touring of the countryside unabated at a cost of many millions of taxpayer dollars and secret service hours per trip.
The agency said it needed to pull officers off the tours for more pressing assignments – little things like the president’s Florida golf outing with Tiger Woods.
Yes, that’s right; while the White House tours were being cut for the little people, President Obama was out on the PGA tour with Tiger Woods. Just that one presidential golf outing reportedly cost Americans more than $1million, which is enough to finance several months worth of White House tours.
Don’t forget first lady Michelle Obama's high-profile multi-city "Let's Move" initiative media appearances. You know, all the costs furnished to accommodate the first lady on events like her dance routine on Jimmy Fallon's show -- the highlight of a Feb. 22 media blitz in New York -- or her Feb. 27-28 visit to Mississippi, Missouri and her hometown of Chicago.
Those trips all required Secret Service details traveling with the first lady, as well as advance work by teams of agents on location.
Why wasn’t all that totally unnecessary crap cut?
How about the recent New York visit by 14-year-old Malia Obama, who was spotted dining with a group of friends at a New York restaurant shortly after President Obama signed off on the sequester? There were Secret Service agents in the restaurant, according to reports that said they stayed behind the group.
Why wasn’t that cut?
Cutting the White House tours was "mandatory" declared Jay Carney. But the presidential family’s tours continue as usual. They just could not find anywhere else to cut, certainly not the $102,000 salary of the chief of staff to the president's dog. It's that person's job to keep the dog out of the way during presidential parties.
The entertainment expenses of this president far exceed those of his predecessors, according to Richard Pollock of the Washington Examiner. "President Obama has spent far more lavishly on White House state dinners than previous chief executives, including nearly $1 million on a 2010 dinner for Mexico's president, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner."
One dinner: $969,793! It featured Beyonce and celebrity guest chef Rick Bayless, flown in from Chicago's Topolobampo restaurant. And it kept the three White House calligraphers busy, earning their combined $277,050-a-year salaries. Their job is to personalize White House invitations.
Operating Air Force One costs almost $180,000 an hour, yet the president uses it to fly out to attend an NCAA basketball tournament in Dayton, Ohio.
Why couldn’t he watch the game on TV like the rest of us poor slobs?
I’ll tell you why. It’s because the President of the United States and his royal family are not about to allow themselves to be affected in the slightest manner by the sequester cuts. Those cuts are supposed to affect only the little folks. Their over the top spending sprees are the last things that would ever be cut.
The White House tours are canceled while they’re out on the tour.