September 27, 2012

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

The Daily Caller:

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 Air Force One “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.

…and also from the Daily Caller, Vern McKinley,”History suggests Obama is poised to win re-election”:

Historically, it has taken a recession in the two-year window before a presidential election for a challenger to knock off a sitting president. Data on recessions from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) integrated with the relevant election results gives us the following summary of sitting presidents unceremoniously removed from office over the past century:

George H.W. Bush got the boot in 1992 after the recession of 1990-1991. Jimmy Carter got the boot in 1980 after the recession of early 1980. Gerald Ford got the boot in 1976 after the recession of 1973-1975. Herbert Hoover got the boot in 1932 after the recession that started in 1929 and ran to the election. William Howard Taft got the boot in 1912 after the recession of 1910-1912.

Going back even further, Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland were both removed from office after recessions in the two-year window before their elections. In fact, this formulation holds for every case of a deposed incumbent going back to the 1850s, which is as far back as NBER’s data goes.

However, the most recent recession ended more than three years ago, outside the two-year window. And since there are no definitive signs we are currently in a recession, the prospects look quite good for the president. Like re-election winners such as George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt before him — other incumbents who saw downturns early in their first terms — he is benefiting from a bounce-back late in his term. The inflection point between winners and losers appears to be around two years before re-election.

Republicans could argue that this has been a pitiful recovery and that it stacks up poorly against the Reagan-era recovery of the early 1980s, which followed a similarly deep recession with unemployment peaking in the double digits. That is all true, but foremost in most people’s memories is not the Reagan recovery of 30 years ago but the recession that started under Bush in late 2007 and which consumed the last presidential campaign in 2008.

The reality that the current weak economy looks good in comparison only emphasizes the deep hole of late 2008. Bush left office in the midst of a financialcollapse, panic-induced bailouts and deep debt used to finance, among other things, unpaid-for wars.

[…]

Based on the historical record, and despite all arguments against the performance of Obamanomics, it looks like the recovery has been strong enough to give the president four more years.

The millions of people who can’t find jobs — many of whom who have left the voter rolls entirely — could not be readily found to comment on the economic turnaround, mostly because none of them exist inside Mr McKinley’s collector’s edition Obama 2012 rose colored glasses.

Good lord, but we are screwed.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:20pm
24 comments | Trackback

Comments (24)

  1. “Has the US economy turned a corner?” belches the inebriated headline.

    Yes! Without question, YES!

    And it’s now headed straight for oblivion. All the more reason to lavish gifts upon the Emperor and Empress Obama.

  2. The Internets back in the days of Gerald Ford, Herbert Hoover, William Howard Taft, Benjamin Harrison, and Grover Cleveland also delivered economic information at the speed of light, you malcontents.

    You think the laws of physics change to suit you ReThuglican BitteR klingerz?

  3. Dude like totally gets lag time. Can’t usually fix ReThuglican crap until like Year Nine, man.

  4. Comparing the President to the royals is a bit apples and oranges. I wonder what the PM of Britain costs, or the president of Russia?

    I think this is more a problem of the office getting too big than Obama’s personal excesses.

    Not to say Obama’s excesses aren’t an issue…

  5. Earlier this week Rush mentioned (I forget his source—possibly Jay Cost ) that no president has won reelection if his approval number was below 50% in mid-September —and Obama was at 47%.

    So pick the statistic you’re prepared to live and die by.

    But yes, win or lose, we are screwed.

  6. it looks like the recovery has been strong enough

    I’ma go poll all the still empty storefronts I still see.

    brb

  7. In the good news column, home foreclosures are down!

    Remember when we measured the health of the economy by the increase in home ownership and jobs? Now it’s measured by the decrease in lost homes and jobs.

    Oh well, I suspect that’ll change when a Republican gets elected.

  8. The boy’s delusional. NBER may say that we’re not technically in a recession at the moment, but that doesn’t mean anything to a country that sees persistently high unemployment, anemic economic growth, falling median incomes, and no sign of a turnaround.

    As the “Where’s my recovery, Mr. President?” videos start making the rounds, old Jugears is going to be looking for a hole to crawl into.

  9. Anyone who thinks the last recession ever ended is a fool.

  10. Yeah, I don’t think it’s too early to say Obama turned a recession into a full on depression.

    The Fed may resist an audit, but the truth will have it’s way regardless.

  11. As to the perks, I can only hope that future Presidents make an effort to publicize and defend the moneys spent on staff, travel, and the like. I begrudge no President the need and means to host State dinners, as that is hospitality shown to guests of our country. But the idea that a President needs five full-time chefs or a dog-walker kinda pisses me off.

    As Insty is so fond of saying: it’s imperative that we put a Republican in office, if only to wake up the watchdogs.

  12. 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.

    You know, is it too much to ask for a President who mostly stayed home, used secure videoconferencing as much as possible, and was able to fly commercial (or at least replace the 747 with something cheaper to operate such as a Boeing 737 variant)?

  13. Or, perhaps, didn’t have the largest staff EVER. Or – gee, maybe didn’t have an army of attendants for his wife. OR his DOG.

    OR OR OR.

    They’ve become emperor’s. Whoever is in the White House is an emperor. Kobe beef for dinner. Endless (expensive) vacations.

    He’s the most tone-deaf president ever.

  14. If Romney does get elected, the Media turn around will be hilarious.

    “Hey! Where’d this huge, blindly obvious depression come from! Why, we’d better start reporting on it, by jove!”

  15. I can see the NYT headline on January 21, 2013:

    U.S NEARS DECADE-LONG DEPRESSION; ROMNEY ADMINISTRATION HAS “NO PLAN”

  16. And if Romney is elected, we’ll hear about how any gains in employment, housing prices, or reduction in the deficit, etc, are “lower than expected” (as was always the case under Bush – darn those nebulous expectations). And they’ll rediscover homeless people.

    But, yeah, it’s Romney who’s the out of touch Richie Rich guy who has a car elevator while children are starviiiiinnnnggg! Never mind that Romney buys his stuff with HIS money.

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

    Mr. Gray needs to look up the concept of sins of ommission and reassess that little conclusion.

  18. And if Romney is elected, we’ll hear about how any gains in employment, housing prices, or reduction in the deficit, etc, are

    …all the result of Obama’s policies finally working.

    FTFY.

  19. no definitive signs we are currently in a recession

    Yeah, well, there’s no definitive signs he has his head up his rear, either, since it’s too dark to make out many details and the smell is making it hard to focus on keeping accurate notes.

  20. “…all the result of Obama’s policies finally working.

    Heck, yeah, Mr. IKilledBinLaden is a master at taking credit for any thing good, isn’t he?

  21. “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.”

    Vacation from what?

    And do movie theatres still have projectors that require a specialist to run?

  22. They’ve become emperor’s. Whoever is in the White House is an emperor. Kobe beef for dinner. Endless (expensive) vacations.

    I wonder how that will work with Romney, as notoriously frugal cheap as he is.

  23. Greetings:

    I sure hope that the 1.4 include President Obama’s mother-in-law’s four year stay in the White House.

  24. And if Romney is elected, we’ll hear about how any gains in employment, housing prices, or reduction in the deficit, etc, are

    …all the result of Obama’s policies finally working.

    FTFY.

    I know some lefties who are still crediting Carter for Reagan’s recovery. “Carter did all the work and Reagan got all the credit!”

    There are days when I think that a giant cleansing asteroid is the only solution. And then I realize those are my optimistic days.

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