America's Haute Noblesse: Living Well on Other People's Money
The following article is adapted from a piece first published on abu al-fin
The US is a nation struggling with economic uncertainty and cultural decline. While real unemployment is well above 10% and underemployment approaches 25%, America's new political nobility provides itself a lavish lifestyle in which previous president's and their families never thought to indulge.
President Obama has spent far more lavishly on White House state dinners than previous chief executives... current and former government officials said the documents obtained by The Examiner point to an unprecedented upsurge in White House spending on such events.Not surprisingly, the government agency responsible for paying for these extravaganzas of the haute noblesse, is run by a US State Department official who also happens to be a business partner of the man who caters these exorbitantly costly events.
...A knowledgeable government official who made the documents available to The Examiner said the extravagant spending seemed unfair with so many Americans out of work.
"It just kind of takes your breath away to see the expenditure of money that has occurred since 2009," the official said.
Gary Walters, who ran presidential household operations for 21 years during Democratic and Republican administrations, before retiring in 2007, told The Examiner the costs reflected in the documents were "excessive. They are high." _Examiner
Of course, that is but one side of the story. The very costly vacations taken by the nouveau haute noblesse would make a billionaire blush -- if his vacations were taken at taxpayer's expense.
But to the nouveau haute noblesse, such costly pleasures are considered minimal perquisites, for the many duties required of them as official and unofficial figures of state. "If you cannot live well on other people's money, what good is becoming involved in government?" they are likely to ask.
And America drifts backward toward the autocratic rule which the founders of the original republic had tried to hard -- at such a high cost -- to escape. Welcome to the Idiocracy.
More: The following is just a partial list of some of the pleasures taken by the haute noblesse at the expense of other people, while the citizens were struggling to get by --
– March 19, 2012, The elder daughter, is spending her springbreak in Mexican city of Oaxaca in the company of 12 friends, Malia Ann Obama, are staying at a downtown hotel in this city famous for its colonial architecture and well-preserved native American traditions. Malia and her friend are guarded by 25 US Secret Service agents as well as Mexican police.American politicians often become very wealthy either while in office, or soon after leaving office -- regardless of the prior state of their finances. Is it corruption? Hush! That kind of talk is for the little people, softly and behind closed doors.
– President’s Day 2012, Michelle and the first daughters in Aspen, Colorado to ski. Michelle Obama and her daughters are on a ski trip to Aspen, Colo., the White House confirmed to POLITICO. The first lady and the Obama daughters are on a private family trip to Colorado.
– Christmas 2011, the first family in Hawaii for an extended vacation. The Obamas celebrated the holiday by attending a Christmas service at the Kaneohe Bay Chapel on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, followed by a visit with military families at Anderson Hall.
– Summer 2011, in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., for the annual beach break. the first family, their Vineyard haven is taking on the flavor of a summer White House. President Obama, for the third straight year, is planning to return to Martha’s Vineyard for vacation this summer, according to a White House official. The Obamas are scheduled to spend seven to 10 days on the island in mid- to late August, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.
– June 2011, the first lady, her mother and daughters traveled to South Africa and Botswana. Michelle Obama, her family and her staff to South Africa and Botswana. Judicial Watch received mission expense records and passenger manifests for the Africa trip that described costs of $424,142 for the flight and crew alone. Other expenses, such as off-flight food, transportation, security, etc. were not included.”
In the past two weeks, we have:
-$800,000 for the GSA’s lavish Las Vegas vacation
-$470,000 for Michelle Obama’s Spanish getaway
-95+ Rounds of golf played by Barack…during a recession.
-$850,000 for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s $32,000 round trip tickets home to see his family.
-Secret Service Agents involving themselves with prostitution
-Barack Obama seen in a video telling a crowd part of his job is to scout out vacation spots for Michelle
– President’s Day 2011, the first lady and first daughters travel to Vail to ski. Michelle Obama and her two daughters are spending the Presidents Day weekend on the ski slopes in Aspen, Colo., a newspaper reports. Obama arrived Friday.
– Christmas 2010, in Hawaii. The Obama’s go back to Hawaii for what is expected to be a 17-day vacation. The total cost for a 17-day round trip vacation to Hawaii for the President and his family and staff and security is estimated at around $4,113,038.. Obama’s $4 million Hawaii Christmas vacation,
– August 2010, the first family traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla., for some sun and fun at the beach.
– August 2010, Obama spent the weekend alone in Chicago for his 49th birthday bash. Barack Obama is coming home to celebrate his 49th birthday. Obama will be in Chicago on his birthday– August 4. The White House said he is looking forward to spending the night in his family’s home in Hyde Park on the city’s’ South Side and gathering with friends.
– August 2010, the first lady and daughter Sasha traveled to Spain for a mother-daughter vacation. Michelle Obama and her daughter Sasha, 9, are vacationing at a lavish resort in Spain. The first lady and her entourage landed at Malaga, on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, at 10:30 a.m.
– August 2010, summer vacation again at Martha’s Vineyard. Obama and his family arrived August 19 for a 10-day visit. The President and Me, we invite you to post photographs of your encounters with the first family, whether you’re dining with the leader of the free world, swimming or golfing with him, playing a game of Horse, or just offering advice.
– July 2010, the first family went to Mount Desert Island, Maine. President Obama and his family are arriving Friday for the weekend. The summer playground of the Astors, the Rockefellers and the Morgans – as well as newer social titans like Martha Stewart.
–May 2010, the first family had a four-day trip to Chicago. Obama in Chicago working out Sunday morning. Obama Secret Service agents in Chicago in sort of “standoff” with Farrakhan’s Fruit of Islam guards
– March 2010, first lady and daughter spend Spring Break in New York City. Obamas arrived in New York on Saturday, when they visited Dylan’s Candy Bar and caught a performance of Blue Man Group. Before seeing “Memphis” on Sunday, they ate brunch at Mesa Grill. After the show, they got a private tour of the Empire State Building, devoured cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery in the West Village and ate at the Russian Tea Room.
– Christmas 2009, Hawaii again for the annual break. The president, first lady and their daughters came to the island of Oahu for a more-than-weeklong vacation away from Washington. The Obamas have no public schedule and are expected to celebrate the holidays in private at a rented compound in Kailua.
– August 2009, at Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon for a short vacation. the president, First Lady Michelle and the kids are heading west on Aug. 14 for a long weekend to visit Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National parks. Just days later, the First Family travels to Martha’s Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts. On Friday, Aug. 14, the First Family will visit the Bozeman, Mont., area. On Aug. 15 they will travel to Yellowstone, Wyo., and Grand Junction, Colo. They will then travel to the Grand Canyon and Phoenix, Ariz., on Aug. 16, and return to Washington, D.C., on Monday, Aug. 17. The First Family’s visit to the national parks occurs during a free weekend for our national parks. Mrs. Obama and her daughters have already made two overseas trips this summer.
– August 2009, their first summer vacation as first family at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. The 28.5-acre Martha’s Vineyard estate where President Obama, his family and, of course, the Secret Service will spend part of the president’s summer vacation. Caroline Taylor, another Martha’s Vineyard realtor, estimated that the property would go for $35,000 to $50,000 a week. The Obamas will pay for at least a portion of the rental, but taxpayer funds will be used to pay for Secret Service and staff housing on the property.
La haute noblesse to the little people: Apres nous, le deluge!