Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Gallivanting & Globe-trotting

Political, U.S., Quality of Life, Taxes

America has the most travelled First Family I can recall.  This family, and its typical entourage, not to mention the hangers-on that are usually accorded travel invitations, has cost the United States more money than any other first family and this group has some three years remaining in which to push its expense record to even higher levels.  Rest assured that it will do so.

The Hague trip alone had 900 people as part of that entourage.  Three aircraft, nine helicopters and an untold number of motor vehicles were ferried to the Netherlands.  At the same time, the First Lady was doing her ‘soft diplomacy’ thing in China along with all the protection that requires.  No doubt there is quite an entourage with her, as well.

The terms gallivanting and globe-trotting come readily to mind.  We taxpayers are the biggest ‘American Express’ card to be imagined and the limit on this card is never even questioned.  This family just concluded a very nice Hawaiian holiday with all the trappings and some two-plus months later it is scattered around the world enjoying yet more of our generosity.   

The lavish parties conducted at the White House continue many times a month with all the people who have been friendly toward this President and who have donated or bundled large donations invited.  Our own Representative Paul Ryan (R) and his wife were finally first-time guests in this, the second term of Obama’s reign.  It took quite a long time for that invitation to be delivered.

When these eight years are behind us, we can begin the lifetime care and safe-keeping of the former first family.  Past presidents are rightfully accorded security and substantial pensions.  That is well and good.  The squandering of taxpayer dollars during the terms in office ought to come under some kind of scrutiny.  Have there been Republican Presidents who have squandered taxpayer funds?  I’m sure there have been.  I do not recall one during my lifetime who has been as blatant about it and as successful at it as is the current President.

Would it not be reasonable for caps to be voted on such largess by Congress?  Those caps would apply equally to Democratic and Republican office-holders and could be set to adjust automatically according to inflation rates.  I know there is a budget but that simply does not appear to have the kind of teeth that appear to be necessary.  I can’t imagine that the President would be turned down if he wanted more money to run his office, certainly not in this environment.  But, is it not becoming clear that there has to be some kind of expenditure oversight and limitation?

Gallivanting and globe-trotting is rather expensive, after all.

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