Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks. In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.
Author Robert Keith Gray writes in "Presidential Perks Gone Royal" that Obama isn't the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in.
Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the "total cost of the presidency," factoring the cost of the "biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever," a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One "running with the frequency of a scheduled airline."
Perspective: $1.4 billion is equal to spending seven times Mitt Romney's entire net worth every year. If Romney had to pay for Barack and Michelle's lifestyle this year, he would have been bankrupt by the third week in February.
Now, who's talking about the evil, freeloading rich people, who didn't build anything and who need to "pay a little bit more?"
LEWIS HUDSON, Hixson
Thank you for the commentary "Gangs are a substitute for broken families." Unless the issue of broken families is addressed all other efforts to reduce gang violence will fail.
The seeds for broken families were sewn by the unintended consequences of the Great Society programs which encouraged men to desert their wives and children.
GEORGE MAYO, PhD., Retired psychologist
I think what everyone forgets in the discussion of a pottery shop is that Missy Crutchfield is not qualified for her job. I don't mind my tax money going to things I don't do. I don't play golf, and the city has nice golf courses. I don't play tennis, same thing. They add to the quality of life here, and that's good for everyone.
My child can play golf or tennis or throw a pot, but Crutchfield is not qualified to run a department.
Once again, you have shown your true anti-conservative stripes in the misleading headline on the front page for March 28. Haslam not wanting to just dump people into an already flawed Medicaid system, but instead trying to set up a system to allow people freedom and choice of health plans does not equal "Haslam hates poor people," as your headline implies.
The staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press has mastered the art of disguising opinion as journalism. Whatever happened to what used to be the basics of good news reporting -- who, what, where and when? Those are lost now, replaced by spin on "why," which may or may not resemble the truth.