By Stan Welch
I think my disdain and contempt for our current president is pretty well established. The depth of those feelings, however, sometimes surprises me, because I can usually find some reason to think kindly of almost any political figure.
I have always admired Jimmy Carter for his Habitat for Humanity work since leaving office, for example. I always gave Bill Clinton credit for his economic successes, despite his total lack of personal character. But I can find absolutely nothing in the personal or public conduct of Barack Obama that leads me to feel any respect or admiration for him.
He continues to surprise me with his remarkable capacity for childish and overtly manipulative behavior. His most recent, and one of his most stunning, performances in that regard came when the White House announced that due to the draconian cuts imposed by the budget sequester, tours of the White House would be cancelled until further notice.
In addition, other services such as functions of the Department of Homeland Security were cut back. All these decisions were made for one reason, and one reason only: to impose the greatest possible inconvenience to the American people. That’s the manipulative part of the Oquation.
Obama knows that it was the idea of his financial advisor, and newly appointed Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew to put the sequester in place. It was intended as leverage to maneuver and manipulate the Congress into agreeing to Obama’s tax increases and continued spending spree.
But something unthinkable happened. The Republicans in the House called his bluff and said “let the sequester begin”. Oh my heavens! What a wailing and gnashing of teeth began in the national media and the halls of Congress. Eighty five billion dollars in cuts were about to take place, and the safety of the nation and the ability of our children to tour the White House was at stake!
Eighty five billion dollars! Why, that’s almost two and a half per cent of the budget! And those weren’t actual cuts. They were just a reduction in the rate of the spending increases, so no real money was lost, ok? That, my friends, is what passes for draconian cuts in our nation’s capitol.
Surely the Republic will fail! Surely Congress – and especially those stupid, greedy Republicans – have lost their minds. Obama and his spin meisters immediately began working to place the blame on those who dared to oppose Obama’s plans and wishes.
But when he used the issue of closing the White House to field trips and school tours, he exposed himself to all but the most addicted federal sycophants. Anyone who cannot see this shabby tactic for what it is, is either a complete fool; or so attached to the teats of the federal hog that they cannot be separated.
No exact figures have been provided as to the savings that would result, but a FOX news anchor offered to write a check for a week’s worth. Estimates are that the White House would save $18,000 a week, which frankly seems absurdly high.
The Secret Service would reportedly save $74,000 in staffing costs. Whether those agents will be furloughed or reassigned hasn’t been stated; but if they are reassigned, I don’t see where the savings come in.
The sad part of all this, aside from the posturing and childishness, is that out of a government that has run a trillion dollar deficit each year since Obama has been president, this is the best place to cut costs that his financial advisors could come up with.
I went to the U.S. Senate dining service website. There are eight separate dining facilities for Senators, from a coffee shop that bakes its own cinnamon rolls to a dining room that requires reservations. From seven in the morning until six thirty at night, there is somewhere to eat open in that building.
I’m betting it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a week to operate all those diners, drive-ins and dives. Seems to me all those fine Senators would be willing to skip a meal or two for the nation’s school children, doesn’t it?