In a time of financial crisis, when millions of Americans are out of work, losing their homes and joining the swelling ranks of poverty, just how much should politicians be allowed to spend on private and unnecessary things.
A group called Judicial Watch obtained a number of documents under the Freedom of Information Act after filing a lawsuit to obtain the information. Among those documents were reports listing the expenses incurred by various politicians at taxpayer expense.
One such report revealed that the June 2011 Obama family trip to South Africa and Botswana listed Malia Obama (age 13) and Sasha Obama (age 10) as ‘senior staff’ on the manifest evidently to justify the government paying their way. Also included on the passenger list was Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama’s mother, a nephew, Avery Robinson and niece Leslie Robinson, a hairstylist and makeup cosmetician.
The trip was supposed to help promote the involvement of young people in national government. The First Lady spoke as several events that were interspersed between the visits to museum, landmarks and a safari at the private game preserve.
I understand that some diplomacy between nations is justified, but I don’t see where taxpayers need to be paying for a family vacation to South Africa for half the Obama clan all in the name of youth involvement in THEIR government.
Just last year alone, Michelle Obama is listed as having spent 42 days on vacation. Destinations included a $2000 per night trip to Vail, Colorado, and a trip to Spain at a cost over $375,000.
Family vacations are even more expensive when Top Spender is with the rest of the family. Their vacation earlier this summer to Martha’s Vineyard had to cost in the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars since just the rental fee at the Blue Heron Farm where they stayed runs about $50,000 per week. Then you have figure in all of the cost of housing and feeding of additional staff and secret service.
I also understand that presidents have been doing this for a long time, but I say it’s time that it has to stop.
And what about other politicians and their offensive spending of taxpayer money on non-essential matters?
Case in point is former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Judicial Watch also reported in 2008-2009, Pelosi racked up $101,000 for ‘in-flight food and alcohol.’ On one occasion alone, she did not request, but instructed the Air Force to provide chocolate covered strawberries on a flight because it was her birthday. On another 2008 Pelosi flight from Washington DC to Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq included at taxpayer expense was: “Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.”
The military cost of Pelosi’s flights during that period totaled $424,142 or $12,000 per hour of flight time. She could have saved the taxpayers over half a billion dollars if she had just used her broom instead of the military transports.
The Obamas and Pelosi are only the tip of the iceberg. Politicians at all levels of government, local, state and federal have been wasting millions of dollars that the government can’t afford then turn around and tell the American people that they need to raise taxes to help reduce the deficit.
I believe that every politician, local, state and federal, should be held to the strictest financial accountability standards and that all of their spending should be publicly published on a monthly basis. I would guarantee that if their constituents knew just how much taxpayer monies they are wasting that their political careers would be over in a heartbeat.