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American Presidents, the New Royalty

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 15, 2012

The political class in the United States votes themselves ever-increasing perks.  In the Congress this includes
hefty pensions, special retirement plans, fancy facilities, and a Cadillac health plan.  Members of both parties enjoy these perks so there is little complaining about the excesses from either side.

The executive branch takes its share of perks.  Earlier this year, The Daily Caller publish an article concerning the lavish right lifestyle offered President Obama and his family.  They indicate that for 2011 the total bill to US taxpayers was approximately $1.4 billion for the Obama White House.  This figure includes staffing, flying and entertainment, and other expenses.  This figure is many times the approximately $58 million British taxpayers spend on the Royal Family.

The president has access to many costly perks including:

  • Appointing staffers without Senate confirmation.  The Obama White House has nearly 470 staffers of which nearly half make over $100,000 annually.
  • Free camp David vacations with total cost running nearly $300,000 per day.
  • The White House has a movie theater with full-time projectionist.
  • Significant vacation time with access to the carbon-belching Air Force One.
  • President Obama’s dog Bo has a full-time staffer reportedly played over $100,000 annually.

The perks of the presidency started long before Obama took office.  However, Obama’s promise of “change” has certainly been avoided when it comes to modifying these excesses.  In addition, his ongoing criticism of “millionaires and billionaires” demands less opulence in his family’s use of the People’s money.


2 Responses to “American Presidents, the New Royalty”

  1. Annette said

    One, I love reading your newsletter; it’s a refreshing insight to the US seen from an EU point of view. Especially since the things pointed out here rarely reaches the EU tv stations or newspapers. I enjoyed getting another view on the democratic party during your election, we only get a very biased, anti-republican version where I live.

    It’s funny, for so many years the political elite in Europe has been called, even if seldom by the press, the new nobility, and in general they are liked even less than the old nobility. Now you have yours as well…..
    But, I have to say that it’s the first time I read about a person making that kind of money to take care of a dog!!! Funny and scary. You seem to be headed in that dangerous EU direction where public spending is out of control and not to be touched.

    NB the British royal family may not be that expensive directly, but they are, like the royal families in Europe in general, not taxed on income nor fortune.

  2. smarko1 said

    Hi Annette. It’s good to hear from a reader on the other side of the pond.

    Many of the economic challenges America faces are similar to those in Europe. Unfortunately, we do not seem to be learning from Europe’s experiences.

    I’m glad you find the postings interesting. Keep on reading and commenting!


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