A few days ago, the University of California at Merced announced that the First Lady’s commencement address cost this public institution a fortune — although it hastened to assure us that most of the cost would be covered, not by California’s overburdened taxpayers, but by private donors.
The nation’s overburdened taxpayers, it seems, are not so lucky when it comes to Michelle’s other expenses. News has now trickled out that her staff is so large the budget is almost three times what Laura Bush’s budget was (and Mrs. Bush, you’ll recall, was First Lady during flush economic times). Scary as those numbers are, they must be worse for Michelle’s tourist jaunt to Europe with her little girls. Despite the fact that you and I paid for it, the White House refuses to release that bill.
As Marie Antoinette learned to her cost, during an economic down time it is dangerous to engage in conspicuous consumption using other people’s money — especially money from people who aren’t voluntarily donating it, but are forced at gunpoint to give it. In this case, it is particularly galling because Our Esteemed Leader has appointed himself green preacher-in-chief, telling us that, in order to save the world, we have to drive tin cans, live and work in freezingly cold or bakingly hot buildings, stop eating meat, and generally return ourselves to all the discomforts of a preindustrial era. Meanwhile, he and the missus jet off for out of town for dates, have Kobe beef dinners, keep the White House at sauna temperature, show off expensive clothes (although those, I suspect, are gifts), and generally live high on our hog.
I’m feeling the urge to storm the Bastille.
UPDATE: We can be grateful, at least, that Barack Obama, his narcissism and pretensions notwithstanding, is more normal, and has less scope for his narcissism, than Kim Jong Il. (As for the latter, it’s possible he is dying, but equally possible that, like Castro, he’ll live on as a semi-dessicated corpse forever.)Email This Post To A Friend
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