One of my more worldly indulgences is picking up a People Magazine every so often at the doctor’s offices where I enjoy a few frivolous empty-headed moments reading about the lives and loves of various celebrities. My rather harmless habit has been with me for the last (ahem) 30+ years, and I admit I am a British Royal Watcher. Occasionally a fleeting thought came to mind that the royals cost the people of Great Britain an enormous amount of money, and was it really worth it?
What I was shocked to discover this week, was the cost numbering 16 or so individuals and in some cases their dependents, who earn a salary from the British government, is quite a big less compared to what the US government pays President Obama and his 3 dependents. According to this article in The Daily Caller, referencing author Robert Keith Gray in his new book “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” past presidents have enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, but the Obama presidency has especially taken advantage of the American people. Last year the Obama family of 4 cost the American taxpayers a whopping 1.4 billion! The British royal family of 16 or so individuals/families living in numerous drafty big old estates/castles cost the British taxpayers £36.million/$76.77million. Considering the state of our economy, I am disappointed the Obamas have not set an example of frugality. Considering they expect wealthy Americans to sacrifice by paying higher taxes, the Obamas should follow suit and trim their budget.
One of the big expenditures of the Obama presidency is:
The president’s wages are $400,000, with an additional yearly $50,000 expense account, a $100,000 travel account, a $19,000 entertainment budget, an additional miscellaneous account of $1 million, of the $1.4 billion.
Also included is:
- Appointed staff not requiring Senate confirmation, including 226 senior staffers (of 469 total) making over $100,000 a year and 43 “czars”
- Free vacations at Camp David, estimated to cost $295,000 per night when transportation and personnel costs are included
- A movie projectionist who lives and sleeps at the White House to be available at the president’s beck and call — a position that has not been eliminated despite the existence of cable TV, DVDs, and streaming Internet video
- Many paid travel and security expenses during vacations, such as the $75,000-a-day tab for First Lady Michelle Obama’s five-day trip to Spain in 2010 (in the span of one year she took 42 vacation days)
- A dog handler who reportedly earned $102,000 in 2011