Politics & Policy

Versailles on the Potomac

The Obamas’ lavish lifestyle mocks supposedly sequester-starved Americans.

‘Shared sacrifice” is one of Obama’s favorite mantras. Translation: The White House shares your money while you sacrifice.

Amid the alleged horrors of the sequester, truly shared sacrifice is the last thing on Obama’s mind. The American people are enduring 0.4 percent GDP growth and 7.6 percent unemployment, and the slowest pace of job creation in nine months — just 88,000 people were hired in March. A record 48 million citizens are on food stamps. Meanwhile, those in America’s royal palace are enduring tropical beaches, country clubs, and ski resorts.

As Joseph Curl recalled in Sunday’s Washington Times, the Obamas rang in 2013 in a 6,000-square-foot, $8 million estate in Oahu’s Paradise Point. That’s when Obama played his 100th presidential golf round, one of five during the first family’s 17-day Hawaiian getaway.

The Obamas rented this five-bedroom estate in Kailua, Oahu, in December 2011. They stayed in a

similar Hawaiian property for 17 days last Christmas/New Year’s season. Photo: David Dunham.

The first lady and her daughters skied Aspen, Colo., in February. But some like it hot, so Obama rode Air Force One to Palm City, Fla., where he swung his clubs with Earth’s No. 1 golfer, Tiger Woods.

Not to be outdone, Clown Prince Biden greeted 2013 in the Virgin Islands. He slid down the slopes of Snowmass, Colo., in February. That month, Biden visited Europe. He and his entourage invested $459,338.65 in tax money for 136 rooms tied to Biden’s one-evening sleepover in London. Biden also stopped overnight in Paris. Rather than rely on, say, the U.S. embassy’s car fleet, Team Biden spent $321,665 for limousine rentals in the French capital. This reportedly was just for Biden’s party; Biden himself appropriately used his secure official vehicle, which was flown with him.

The American ambassador’s residence in Paris (above) was not good enough for Vice President Biden, who bunked instead at the Hotel Intercontinental. Photo: Henry Bourne, Harper’s Bazaar.

Meanwhile, Uncle Joe could have stayed, essentially for free, at the magnificent, 60,000-square-foot American ambassador’s residence. Or he might have checked into the Paris Hilton. Instead, Team Biden bunked at No. 2 Rue Scribe, the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand. That one night cost taxpayers $585,000.50.

Late March found the Obama daughters on spring break in the Bahamas. They enjoyed the Atlantis resort, which boasts three breeze-caressed beaches, 11 swimming pools, and a 141-acre water park.

After their fun in the sun, Malia and Sasha frolicked in the snow. “The Sun Valley Ski Patrol confirms the girls were enjoying the wonders of the mountain,” southern Idaho’s KMVT-TV revealed.

Easter found Biden on South Carolina’s posh Kiawah Island for five days. Located 15 miles from Charleston, Kiawah’s lush golf facilities are world-famous. These include the Ocean Course. Greens fees: $353.

Obama whipped out his putter on Easter Eve. He and some pals played Andrews Air Force Base’s course. This was Obama’s first golf round since the sequester, his sixth in 2013’s first quarter, and his 115th as president of the United States.

No one begrudges Obama, Biden, and their families some relaxation from the pressures of their duties. And who can blame the Obama daughters for wanting to cavort with their schoolmates?

However, as Americans struggle by the millions, such self-indulgence is like devouring a double cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake right in front of someone who is fasting on Yom Kippur. This soon grows unnecessary, unseemly, and uncaring. And expensive, as Secret Service agents, advance personnel, motorcades, helicopters, and jumbo jets facilitate such extravagance.

Obama literally endangers the American public by padlocking airport control towers and releasing criminal illegal aliens from federal custody, so that this country’s citizens squeal beneath the sequester. (Obama originally threatened to reduce Border Patrol deployment, but Homeland Security postponed its announced furloughs; Obama planned to limit federal meat inspection, until he recently signed a continuing resolution that included Missouri Republican senator Roy Blount’s amendment to restore such funds and prevent that public-health risk.) Instead, Obama should set an example and save taxpayers millions by tempering his and Biden’s monarchic lifestyles.

This gluttony would be easier to tolerate if Obama did his job. Instead, in violation of federal law, Obama’s budget is now two months overdue. The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 requires that the president’s spending plan reach Congress by the first Monday in February. What on Earth have some 500 Office of Management and Budget employees done since February 4? If Obama won’t busy his OMB staffers with budgeting, they should conduct White House tours. Instead, troops of Girls Scouts touring Washington are barred from the Executive Mansion. Message: Let them eat cookies.

Obama now reigns over Versailles on the Potomac. And America’s taxpayers are the vassals who bankroll the opulence of King Louis-Barack and Michelle Antoinette.

— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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