As the number of unemployed, underemployed soared, as record numbers of people joined the ever easy route to purchasing food with food stamps, President Barack (D) and Michelle Obama (D) felt their pain as only true Democrats could.
Using other peoples' money, they stimulated the economy by tossing tax dollars to the favored, mainly themselves, hosting ever extravagant dinners and events for international visitors Richard Pollock charges in the Washington Examiner.
Sure, inviting visiting international heads of state over to the (taxpayer supported) house or to a fine dining establishment for an elegant dinner is a legitimate business expense, as is hosting celebrities or business powerhouses.
After traveling so far, the honored guests probably expect more than the little lady's green bean casserole or grilled burgers or even Michelle Obama's so called healthy 700 calorie lunch imposed on students qualifying for a free high school meal, but for a president who scolded private businesses for conducting lavish conventions in say, Las Vegas, (taxpayer supported government ones are just fine though) this practice seems a bit er...hypocritical.
The Obama extravaganza two years ago for Mexican President Felipe Calderon, which included a performance by pop star Beyonce, cost $969,793, or more than $4,700 per attendee, the documents show.
The Calderon dinner was held on the South Lawn in a massive tent adorned with decorated walls, hanging chandeliers, carpeting and a stage for Beyonce's performance. Guests rode private trolley cars from the White House to the tent. Celebrity guest chef Rick Bayless from Chicago's Topolobampo restaurant was imported to prepare Oaxacan black mole, black bean tamalon and grilled green beans.
The dinner for the prime minister of India -- which was famouslycrashed by Virginia couple Michaele and Tareq Salahi -- cost nearly half a million dollars. Dinners for Chinese Premier Hu Jintao and British Prime Minister David Cameron were of the same level of extravagance.
Gary Walters, who ran presidential household operations for 21 years during Democratic and Republican administrations, before retiring in 2007, told The Examiner the costs reflected in the documents were "excessive. They are high."
Excessive? No, the long suffering tax payers should be honored that these one half of one per centers are sacrificing so much in the name of public service.