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Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on Obama family last year, perks questioned in new book

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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.


Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the “total cost of the presidency,” factoring the cost of the “biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever,” a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an “running with the frequency of a scheduled air line.”

“The most concerning thing, I think, is the use of taxpayer funds to actually abet his re-election,” Gray, who worked in the Eisenhower administration and for other Republican presidents, said in an interview with TheDC on Wednesday.

“The press has been so slow in picking up on this extraordinary increase in the president’s expenses,” Gray told TheDC.

Specifically, Gray said taxpayer dollars are subsidizing Obama’s re-election effort when he uses Air Force One to jet across the country campaigning.

When the trip is deemed political, it’s customary for the president to pay the equivalent of a first class commercial ticket for certain passengers. But Gray says that hardly covers the taxpayer cost of flying the president and his staffers around on Air Force One.

“When the United States’ billion-dollar air armada is being used politically, is it fair to taxpayers that we only be reimbursed by the president’s campaign committee for the value of one first-class commercial ticket for each passenger who is deemed aboard ‘for political purposes?’” Gray asks in the book.

“And is that bargain-price advantage fair to those opposing an incumbent president?”

In the book, Gray admits Americans want their president to be safe and comfortable but argues the system should be reformed to stop the amount of unquestioned perks given to the president.

“There is no mechanism for anyone’s objection if a president were to pay his chief of staff $5,000,000 a year,” he told TheDC. “And nothing but a president’s conscience can dissuade him from buying his own reelection with use of some public money.”

Aside from a salary, the president gets a $50,000 a year expense account, a $100,000 travel account, $19,000 entertainment budget and an additional million for “unanticipated needs,” he notes.

Here is a sample of other pricey taxpayer funded perks exclusively reserved for the president:

The president can to appoint high-paid staffers without Senate confirmation: Obama has 469 senior staffers and 226 are paid more than $100,000 a year, according to the book. Seventy-seven are paid as much as $172,000 per year. He also has appointed 43 “czars.”

The president can vacation for free at Camp David: Gray writes that each round trip made to Camp David costs the taxpayers $25,350. It’s also estimated that the combined transportation and personnel costs for a Camp David visit are $295,000 per night.

The president has a full-time movie projectionist in the White House theater: Projectionists sleep at the White House and are there 24 hours a day in case anyone needs to see a movie. “Compared to the 450 times President Carter used the movie theater in his four years in the White House, the average American citizen, according to industry statistics, goes out to see a movie slightly less than five times a year,” Gray writes.

The president’s family’s gets certain travel and security expenses paid while vacationing: “First Lady Michelle Obama drew flack from the media and irate citizens when it was disclosed that, not counting Saturdays and Sundays, she spent 42 days on vacation — within the span of one year.”

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.”


by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 5:08 PM
Replies (31-40):
Cutenessmom
by Bronze Member on Mar. 21, 2013 at 9:35 AM
2 moms liked this

Can I be thr rock polisher or  stamp licker :) I got lots of spit!   Can the next president not have, any kids or  animals ot save us some money?  Welcoem otthe   corrupt country..... The Biggest  welfare  recievers ever!

tooptimistic
by Kelly on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:06 AM
2 moms liked this


I agree.  Not just this president, but presidents in modern history.  Its not ok just because the last guy did it.  This entitlement attitude of our leaders in wrong, and we should be outraged, not matter what their political party.  They are public servants, not Kings, they should remember that!!  I feel that way about some Congressmen and Senators too. 

As everyone of us has cut back in this economy, our celebrety politicans have gone bigger. At some point the people need to demand better because the politician can not self regulate themselves.

If they had to pay for EVERYTHING themselves, I am thinking they would be more careful about what they spend.

Quoting candlegal:

We already know it needs to be trimmed down.  I do agree this should be with every President, this one has just taken things to a new level of excess.

Quoting brookiecookie87:

This is only half as bias of an article you normally post. Well it does slam President Obama for something money related it also points out things wrong that would impact whatever Political Party in the future.

So I agree with it. We should look at what the President gets to spend if there is something that is too wasteful or too excessive trim it down.




tooptimistic
by Kelly on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:07 AM
1 mom liked this

NO joke!!

If they can't regulate themselves (all of them) then how can they regulate things like closing the loopholes for corporate welfare?

Quoting Cutenessmom:

Can I be thr rock polisher or  stamp licker :) I got lots of spit!   Can the next president not have, any kids or  animals ot save us some money?  Welcoem otthe   corrupt country..... The Biggest  welfare  recievers ever!



romalove
by Roma on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:09 AM
1 mom liked this

Does this include the cost of toilet paper used throughout the White House or just in the President's quarters?

Inquiring minds and all....

pamelax3
by Gold Member on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:24 AM
2 moms liked this

IMO these perks need to stop for the FirstFamily and members of congress.. These people need to lead by example

candlegal
by Judy on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM

That is probably another whole story all by itself.

Quoting romalove:

Does this include the cost of toilet paper used throughout the White House or just in the President's quarters?

Inquiring minds and all....


romalove
by Roma on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting candlegal:

That is probably another whole story all by itself.

Quoting romalove:

Does this include the cost of toilet paper used throughout the White House or just in the President's quarters?

Inquiring minds and all....


I expect you to ferret out such fascinating and important news and report it back to us post haste.

katy_kay08
by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:31 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting romalove:


Quoting candlegal:

That is probably another whole story all by itself.

Quoting romalove:

Does this include the cost of toilet paper used throughout the White House or just in the President's quarters?

Inquiring minds and all....


I expect you to ferret out such fascinating and important news and report it back to us post haste.

tomorrow I expect to see a post from her telling us that Obama uses too much toilet paper and should in the spirit of austerity cut down to three sheets per BM.  

candlegal
by Judy on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:32 AM

I will leave that one to you since it is your fascination.   I have made my quota of posts for the day   :)

Quoting romalove:


Quoting candlegal:

That is probably another whole story all by itself.

Quoting romalove:

Does this include the cost of toilet paper used throughout the White House or just in the President's quarters?

Inquiring minds and all....


I expect you to ferret out such fascinating and important news and report it back to us post haste.


romalove
by Roma on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:38 AM


Quoting candlegal:

I will leave that one to you since it is your fascination.   I have made my quota of posts for the day   :)

Quoting romalove:


Quoting candlegal:

That is probably another whole story all by itself.

Quoting romalove:

Does this include the cost of toilet paper used throughout the White House or just in the President's quarters?

Inquiring minds and all....


I expect you to ferret out such fascinating and important news and report it back to us post haste.


I have no fascination with bullshit posts.

But thanks for sharing!

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