Upon occasion, we are reminded that one of the most abundant elements comprising this small blue planet is irony–oh yes, and absurdity too. According to the Wall Street Journal via Fox News, President Obama, during fiscal cliff negotiations, told Speaker of the House John Boehner:
We don’t have a spending problem.
And he was serious too! Mr. Obama asserted that America’s growing deficit is caused instead by a “healthcare problem,” which Obamacare will solve. To which Mr. Boehner replied:
Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with Obamacare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem.
Mr. Boehner apparently had the bad taste to continue to repeat that, prompting Mr. Obama to quip:
I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.
It’s good to know we don’t have a spending problem and that Obamacare will solve all of our economic woes. So I guess we can ignore Nile Gardiner’s report on Mr. Obama’s most recent Hawaiian vacation:
$16.4 trillion – that’s the latest figure for America’s massive national debt. Nearly $6 trillion of this debt was racked up in the first term of the Obama presidency – a 50 percent increase. It is horrifying to imagine what the debt will be when Obama leaves the White House in 2016, unless Congress has the willpower to stand in the way.
Meanwhile, as the world’s superpower is literally drowning in debt, President Obama is basking in the warmth of the beaches of Hawaii, at an exclusive resort way beyond the financial reach of most Americans. The president pays the cost of his own family’s accommodations, but there are a large number of associated costs, which are paid from the public purse.
What is the actual cost of Obama’s lavish vacation to the American taxpayer? A staggering $7 million, according to veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler, who wrote in his blog earlier this week:
I’n a move that is rich in irony, President Obama agreed Tuesday night to sign an emergency deficit reduction bill that does almost nothing to rein in spending and then jetted out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an extra cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers.
The price tag is in addition to more than $4 million that is already being spent on the Obamas’ Hawaii idyll, bringing the total cost of the excursion to well over $7 million.
The added cost was incurred because by the time the Obamas return from Hawaii – whenever that is – the president will have used Air Force One to travel to Honolulu and back twice.
Now, now, gentle readers. Doesn’t the president, who is working hard for us every single day, deserve a little humble R and R?
For most of America’s embattled middle class, who, unlike the president have already returned to work, this kind of luxury is simply unimaginable in the current economic climate. And they’ve just been hit hard with a significant rise in their payroll taxes due to the expiration of the Social Security tax break. According to the Tax Policy Center, 77 percent of US households will now be paying more in federal taxes following this week’s fiscal cliff deal.
Oh. But surely we can all follow Mr. Obama’s example and sacrifice a little for the common good…
President Obama frequently calls on the American people to make sacrifices, but he is simply unwilling to lead by example and do so himself. In a speech in Virginia back in April 2011, Obama famously declared:
We are going to have to ask everybody to sacrifice. And if we’re asking community colleges to sacrifice, if we’re asking people who are going to see potentially fewer services in their neighborhoods to make a little sacrifice, then we can ask millionaires and billionaires to make a little sacrifice.
Oh…but wait just a minute! Didn’t Mr. Obama, whose every thought is for the middle class, just say we don’t have a spending problem?
The president is elected to serve his country, rather than lord over it, a message which appears to be completely lost on the present White House. The federal government is simply running out of money, and America faces economic ruin unless spending is cut dramatically and the vast entitlements system is reformed. Barack Obama’s Hawaii vacation is merely a symbol of his wider presidency – a culture of impunity and extraordinary arrogance, reckless spending, a striking lack of accountability, and a shameless let them eat cake mentality. America’s middle class deserves to be treated better than this from a president who fails to practice what he preaches.