Your Tax Dollars at Work: Supporting Michelle Obama in the Manner

The figures are in.  As required by Congress since 1995, salaries paid to staffers employed in the West Wing of the White House must be publicly reported.  Most of you won't be pleased to learn that your tax dollars are paying $1,448,500 annually to provide the First Lady, Michelle Obama, with the staff she feels she needs to execute her duties as FLOTUS.  

For purposes of comparison, please consult Dan Froomkin's 2004 White House Staff List-By Salary published in the Washington Post on June 13, 2004
.  Tallying Laura Bush's staff from the list provided by Froomkin totals $561,325 in annual salaries for the former First Lady's staff.

This number does not include White House maintenance or kitchen staff or the occasional pizza night with Barack and Michelle flying in the chef from a St. Louis restaurant to kick back and share some deep dish with 140 of their close personal friends.  Nor does it include date nights in Chicago

And it certainly doesn't include Michelle's European vacation with her daughters.  In fact, CNS reports that

"the White House will not reveal the cost to taxpayers of the European vacation that first lady Michelle Obama and the president's two daughters, Malia and Sasha, took last month."

Despite deploying multiple aircraft, a huge staff and a motorcade of 20 vehicles including support staff on tours of London and Paris and la-di-da, apparently the White House feels there is some sort of executive privilege involved in withholding the cost of the First Family's extravagances from the citizens who foot the bill for them.

Perhaps they thought we wouldn't notice?

"It was supposed to be a secret trip, but the motorcade gave it away."  (ibid)

Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target