Obama family 'costs taxpayers $1.4BILLION per year'
Obama family 'costs taxpayers $1.4BILLION per year' (that's 20 times more expensive than British Royal Family)
Politicians looking for savings to deal with the national debt crisis should perhaps start by abolishing the President. Barack Obama and his family cost the taxpayer $1.4billion per year, according to a recently published book. By contrast, the British Royal Family costs less than $60million each year. This means paying for hundreds of Secret Service agents, travel in the secure space of Air Force and funding a team of doctors to follow Mr Obama around.
But even this essential expense can be exploited to political ends, according to Mr Gray, a former staffer for Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
When the President travels around the country on campaign, he is obliged to take Air Force One. His party reimburses the taxpayer with the cost of a first-class air ticket per passenger - but this is far from the full cost to taxpayers. It also provides a President running for re-election with a national transport network which is unavailable to his challenger.
Moreover, much of the money spent on Mr Obama's family goes to perks such as entertainment and household expenses. For example, the White House contains a movie theatre which is manned by projectionists 24 hours a day in case one of the family feels like a trip to the cinema.
And even the Obamas' dog Bo costs the taxpayer thousands of dollars - his handler is reportedly paid over $100,000 a year.
Another huge presidential outgoing, according to Mr Gray, comes in the form of staff members who can be appointed by the commander-in-chief at his own personal discretion. 226 members of Mr Obama's staff are apparently paid over $100,000 - and the President can increase their salaries at any time.
So this is the meaning of 'shared sacrifice', eh?
Senior Lookout: Social Security cuts will affect us all
Senior Lookout Anne Springer
Much has been made of the desire to keep Social Security benefits intact for current and soon-to-be retirees, but a new proposal involving changes to the way Social Security cost-of-living increases are calculated, would actually mean a loss to those who are most dependent upon those benefits.
That not only affects seniors, it affects widowed spouses, disabled children, and adults.
The increase would be figured, not on the current system, but on something called the “chained CPI” or chained consumer price index. The important difference is that those benefits would grow more slowly.
Small reductions to the cost-of-living raises might seem insignificant at first, but over the long term, could result in the largest reductions affecting the oldest and longest term disabled individuals.
AARP provides the following example: 92-year-old beneficiaries who were on the program for 30 years, would see their benefits cut by 8.4 percent. Disabled children could see the largest cuts over their lifetimes.