Tuesday, 26 March 2013 18:55

Spendthrifts Obama, Biden play while rest of US sequesters

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obama-vacationToday, the typical American family is struggling with a poor economy, weak job prospects and high gas prices.


Throughout our country, poverty rates are high and food stamp usage is at historic levels.  While 236,000 jobs were created the last month, 269,000 people left the work force altogether, many frustrated by the anemic employment climate.  Today, there is a staggering number of Americans, 90 million, who are not in the work force. 

With a massive national debt and huge deficits, the Congress finally approved some minuscule across the board cuts of $85 billion. The sequester accounts for only 2 percent of the annual $3.6 trillion federal budget. Instead of embracing the cuts and his sequester proposal, the President railed against the spending reductions, predicting doom and gloom for the country. He advocated more tax increases and less meaningful budget cuts. Fortunately, Congress stood firm and the cuts have been implemented. 

After being forced to cut the budget, the President and his administration decided to make the budget reductions as painful as possible on the American people. So, air traffic controllers were furloughed, the self guided White House tours were eliminated and the award winning naval aviators, the Blue Angels were put on hiatus. 

These decisions impact families who travel, visit air shows for entertainment or go to the nation’s capital to see the sites. It is a true shame that the President has decided to close the people’s house to the American people 

While the average American is being impacted by sequester, the President, his family and the Vice President are certainly not skimping on any extravagances. In his recent trip to Europe, Vice President Biden charged the American people $1 million just for hotel accommodations in London and Paris. 

Biden and his extensive entourage spent almost $500,000 to stay at the Hyatt Regency in London and almost $600,000 to spend one night at a five-star hotel near the Louvre Museum in Paris. If the Vice President was the least bit concerned about saving money, he could have stayed at the American embassy in London or Paris, which surely had rooms available. To make matters even more obscene, Biden’s party spent $321,000 on limousines during his London stay. What, no double-decker buses were available? 

As an arrogant and wasteful spender the Vice President is an amateur compared to the President and his family. In the last three months, the Obama family has visited Hawaii, Aspen, Florida and the Bahamas on vacation. They started the year with a nine day trip to Hawaii, which allowed the President to cram in plenty of rounds of golf. In February, the family split up with the First Lady and her daughters skiing in Aspen, while the President joined Tiger Woods and friends in Florida for more golf. 

This week, the First Daughters are in the Atlantis resort in Paradise Island in the Bahamas with a “gaggle of friends.” Of course, with security, accommodations, and travel costs, this trip will be quite expensive for a country that is supposedly struggling to pay the bills.  We don’t know the final cost of this trip, but, last year, Malia Obama vacationed in Mexico with friends for spring break. The final cost to the American taxpayers, a cool $115,000. 

The Obama family has been enjoying first class travel since they entered the White House. Instead of regularly using Camp David for vacations, the First Family travels across the world, usually in separate planes. The extra air travel is also quite costly as one hour in Air Force One costs an outrageous $180,000. 

If Americans can’t tour the White House, the Obama Family should not be able to tour the world on the taxpayer’s dime.  

In fact, it is much more important for the White House to be open to the American people than for the Vice President and the President and his family to be able to enjoy champagne wishes and caviar dreams and the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

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by Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]

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