The Daily Caller has an eye popping report this morning on how much it costs to keep the Obama family happy.
Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.
In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.
Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” that Obama isn’t the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in.
None of us begrudges the Obamas a few perks. It’s a tough job and they need to be able to enjoy themselves, but is it out of control!
A visit to Camp David, for example, costs us $295,000 per night. I bet it wasn’t that high under GWB. He gets Air Force One use, too, often for vacations, and Michelle uses Air Force Two for jetting off for skiing in Colorado or taking an entourage to Spain.
Sometimes Obama uses it for campaigning with minimal remuneration by the DNC. He also has 469 senior staffers -a big jump – and of those, 77 get paid $172,000 a year. Two hundred twenty six get paid more than $100,000. The remaining 166 need to do a little more brown nosing to bump that up, I suppose.
And who among us laboring drones wouldn’t like having a full time, live in movie projectionist? Obama has one. He’s there 24 hours a day in case there’s a movie “emergency” I suppose. I wasn’t able to find out his name or his salary. So much for the most transparent administration in history.
But don’t forget Bo. The president’s dog gets its own high-paid staffer: “Bo made the news when he and his handler were flown to join the president on vacation in Maine,” Gray wrote about the Obama family dog. “It has been reported that the first family’s dog handler was paid $102,000, last year.” Do you think he picks up poop or is there another employee for that?
Add to this the free lodging the president enjoys, plus top notch cuisine provided for him and countless guests for the weekly parties the Obamas put on (fewer during election season) and it’s a nice gig. Designers flock to Michelle Obama, too, hoping she’ll wear their couture. Don’t tell me there aren’t deals being made here, too.
Pretty soon you begin to look like Louis XIV and Versailles.
That wasn’t something Presidents Bush ever wanted or sought. But with this occupant, over the top is never enough.