President Obama and VP Biden announced a campaign to ‘eliminate waste’ in the White House and all Federal agencies – leaving no stone left unturned…
Really? So what has been accomplished?
The White House staff includes 474 employees. Titles include such onerous ones as; Deputy Assistant to Executive Clerk (when did a clerk need an office of assistants?), Director of African American Media (is their a Director for Asian, Latino and White Media?), Assistant Supervisor of Classification (What?), Director of Stenography (is stenography an entire wing?), Associate Director (of nothing…), Vetter (a person who performs background checks – I guess that’s a full time job?), Coordinator (of nothing), Advance Coordinator (in case the Coordinator is just proficient), Presidential Support Specialist (someone who pats his back and says everything is okay?)…
Then of course we have the private staff of Michelle, now numbering 26, and costing nearly $2 million annually. And despite the fact that the role of Vice President is mostly for show, VP Biden’s staff costs upwards of $1.02 million annually. It should be noted that both of these figures, Michelle staff and Biden’s, are ‘base salaries’ only and do not reflect bonuses, expense accounts, upgrades to salary levels, benefits, or raises. In 2003, the ‘base salary for VP staff was $747k, representing an increase of 37% since then.
We should also consider the costs associated with trips for the Obama’s that taxpayers pay for; as of 2014, one estimate put the Obama vacation travel bill at $44.35 million since taking office. But thats skimming the surface given that estimates claim the Africa trip alone ranked number one for all time most costly single trip at $60-$100 million! An interesting spread of 67% differential… hardly a corporate transparency number…
Of course it is difficult to get an absolute cost within the veil of transparency, but I imagine the real costs are always significantly higher – not lower than what is reported. One trip to Ireland cost nearly $8 million alone. Happy vacation Mr. President – let’s not waste taxpayer dollars president.
In addition, we pay for Obama’s ‘fundraisers’ which have now numbered well over 400 since taking office. Typically, flight costs alone range between $1 million to upwards of $7 million – each, leaving us with a flight tab of between $400 million and $2.8 billion. WHOA there waste not, want not!!! Security detail rack up large expenses and require more and more personnel as paranoia reigns large. For example; rental cars for Michelle and entourage on a one day trip in Kyoto cost $80,000 to accomodate her and her ‘necessary guards’.
Waste? A campaign to eliminate waste? When did President’s feel so entitled to such extravagance?
Obama is not alone, but the hypocrisy of campaigning for ‘waste elimination’ does make my skin crawl. How can these people have any idea what real life is like anymore after living the life of twenty queens and kings? By contrast, Angela Merkel has her husband fly commercial and pay for it privately, stays at low key hotels, eats modestly, recorks her wine, and takes minimum security detail. It shows amazing respect for one’s country and one’s people – a morality far lacking in the US.
According to a relatively new book, taxpayers shelled out $1.4 billion for Obama vacations, staffing, housing, flying and entertaining in 2011 alone which includes the largest staff ever and the highest wages.
Campaign to eliminate waste…sounds like a party…
Social Security pays 6.5 million people benefits who are 112 years old and older. Of course, these people don’t exist and the payments are fraudulent etc., etc., etc… But let’s put a number to it. Let’s say the average payout is $2200 per month x 12 x 6.5 million = $171.6 billion!! Waste? It is estimated that Federal ‘waste’ accounts for somewhere between $650 billion and $800 billion per year, of course we can’t possibly now the actual true number because well, we’d have to have actual true transparency!!
Imagine you are one of the 40,000 military troops being cut due to spending austerity in the budget and you see the waste dollars of $650 billion for nothing? Imagine as a US troop that the military claims you cost them $400,000 per year per troop when you can barely make ends meet? When you are paid slave labor wage and your spouse and children have just enough to be considered in poverty?
How is that possible? Imagine $16 billion is the savings to cut the livelihood of 40,000 troops when $650 billion is wasted, when the cost of the Presidential junk annually is $1.4 billion? Imagine what that might feel like? When harnessing the fraud in Social security alone could salvage your livelihood for more than 10 years, when all you see is 8% of the military cost of $400,000 for your existence?
But the transparency of cost is not so simple, it is not an actuality, it is not absolute because the government does not have a handle on what much of anything truly costs – by choice. Like any corporation across the world, they have a choice, they have simply decided they – DO NOT WANT to know, because not knowing makes them feel guilt free. Because, not knowing gives them a false sense of power and security in a decision that is rife with corruption, waste, and fraud.
A Campaign to Eliminate Waste – what has been done Mr. President?