It was the question that was avoided like the plague. A question that the White House will not answer. A question that directly takes the impact of the Sequester, and the seriousness of the Obama Administration about the Sequester, and lays bare the reality.
On March 14th, the Obama Administration responded to the backlash of ending tours of the White House. The cause was of course Republicans and the Sequester (that was created by Democrats, Republicans, and President Obama – but why pay attention to minor details). Because the Obama Administration was faced with the dire and only choices of ending the tours or cutting Secret Service staff. Nothing in the middle. No other alternative existed.
The preposterous scenario played out by the Obama Administration met with a particular frankness that has long been uncommon to this Administration. Jonathan Karl of ABC News, asked a simple question
“The Secret Service told us that the tours cost $74,000 a week. How much is it going to cost for the President to travel later this week to Illinois?” stated Karl.
Jay Carney responded in part, “…But the President has to travel around the country. He has to travel around the world. That is part of his job.”
Karl countered, “How much does it cost for him to go and play golf?”
Carney, “Jon, again, you’re trivializing an impact here…”
Which leaves the question, how much does it cost?
According to Obamagolfcounter.com, the President has played 115 rounds of golf since being elected. 5 rounds since payroll taxes hit every American pocket. 3 rounds during the month of February (including golf lessons at the Harmon School of Golf, and private lessons with $1,000/hour Butch Harmon) as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released no less than 2,228 illegal aliens and prepared to release 3,000 more until Associated Press embarrassed the Obama Administration by publishing the count.
According to political pundit Charles Krauthammer,
“The president’s travel expenses alone for the golfing outing with Tiger Woods would pay for a year of White House visits.”
Is Krauthammer accurate? Did President Obama cost taxpayers more in February golf than the $3,334,200/day in savings ICE collected for releasing a small number of illegal aliens that were convicted of aggravated felonies, and far more that had financial crimes, multiple drunken driving offenses, and misdemeanor crime convictions. Would ICE have been able to hold those criminals in jail longer, and thus protect the public longer, if President Obama missed a golf round or two?
At a time where the White House is pointing out incredulous acts of irresponsible hack and slash budget techniques as the only options available, and seemingly desperate ends to trivial (in government spending terms) programs abound, why wouldn’t President Obama give up his golf outings and crow about the saving to taxpayers? Or is the chance to play with Tiger Woods to good to give up for school kids visiting an iconic embodiment of our Government?
Jonathan Karl of ABC News hit a nerve. Jay Carney couldn’t hide it no matter how he twisted. If the Sequester is so devastating, and the impact so widespread and all-encompassing, why didn’t the Obama Administration have a back-up plan? Why has the President, and the First Lady, continued to live without tightening their lifestyle out of respect and solidarity with the Americans being affected across the nation?
Or is President Obama fearful of the backlash that will come when the public learns exactly what 115 rounds of golf costs taxpayers during a recession where 22.3 million are unemployed?