The shutdown of the White House tours is lighting up the internet.
(Reuters) – The sixth-grade class at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Waverly, Iowa, sent a message this week that was heard in the White House briefing room.
“The White House is our house,” the class said in a video posted on Facebook. “Please let us visit.”
But their trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which had been set for March 16, is off. White House tours will be suspended starting on Saturday due to mandated across-the-board spending cuts known as “sequestration.” The move will save the federal government an estimated $74,000 a week.
Many were left holding worthless tour tickets, secured months in advance through members of Congress. There is no rain check for a White House tour.
The children’s video caught the attention of White House reporters, and of the top Republican in Congress.
Donald Trump has offered to fund them:
Should the Obama administration allow Donald Trump to pay for the resumption of White House tours? That’s an issue today because the popular walk-throughs have been canceled due to the “sequester,” and the mogul/TV star has indeed offered to keep the doors open at the nation’s executive mansion.
“It sounds reasonable to me … why not? It’s not a lot of money,” Mr. Trump said Monday morning on his regular Monday appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
The Secret Service ordered the suspension of the tours to save on agent overtime, according to White House officials. It’s true that the money at issue isn’t that much in the context of the federal budget or a billionaire’s balance sheet: only about $72,000 a week, at most.
Safe from the ax is the White House dog’s Chief of Staff, among others:
The executive mansion is not in that much trouble, of course. It’s certainly not in sufficiently dire straits for Air Force One ($181,757 per hour) to be grounded, or to see the executive chef ($100,000 per year) furloughed, or to cut back on the hours of the three full-time White House calligraphers ($277,050 per year for the trio), or to limit the invaluable work of the chief of staff to the president’s dog ($102,000 per year), or to trim his ridiculous motorcade ($2.2 million). If Ellen DeGeneres wants another dancercize session or Spain holds another clothing sale, the first family will be there before you can say “citizen executive.” Fear ye not, serfs: Austerity may be the word of the week, but the president is by no means in any danger of being forced to live like the president of a republic instead of like a king.
But there is a way to pay for those White House tours and not disappoint all those kids.
Make government employees pay their taxes.
Federal workers owe three and a half BILLION in back taxes:
The number of federal workers and retirees who owed delinquent income taxes jumped by nearly 12 percent in 2011, the Internal Revenue Service said Friday.
Nearly 312,000 federal workers and retirees owed more than $3.5 billion in back taxes as of Sept. 30, 2011, the agency said. The year before, about 279,000 workers and retirees owed $3.4 billion.
Overall, the 9.8 million workers included in the data had a delinquency rate of 3.2 percent. That’s better than the general public. The IRS says the delinquency rate for the general public was 8.2 percent.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development had the highest delinquency rate, at 4.4 percent. The Treasury Department, which includes the IRS, had the lowest, at 1.1 percent.
Among independent agencies with more than 1,000 workers, the Government Printing Office had the highest delinquency rate, at 7.6 percent. The National Credit Union Administration had the lowest, at 1 percent.
House employees had a higher delinquency rate than workers for the Senate, but not by much. House workers had a delinquency rate of 3.7 percent, while Senate workers had a delinquency rate of 3.3 percent. Federal court employees had a delinquency rate of 2.7 percent.
The IRS says most residents who owe back income taxes file returns but cannot pay the full amount at tax time. Others have their tax bills increased through audits and cannot pay the higher bill.
The statistics on federal employees do not include those who are on payment plans. The IRS doesn’t publicize the data but makes it available upon request.
Seems to me that would be another list which ought to be made public.
And even worse, Obama aides owe more than $300,000 in back taxes.
President Obama has done a lot of talking the last year about Americans paying their fair share of taxes.
Apparently he means, Do as I say, not as my staff does.
A new report from the Internal Revenue Service has just revealed that 40 of Obama’s White House aides owe their employer, the federal government, a total of $333,485 in back taxes.
This is the third straight year that the chief executive of the United States has been unable to get his own staff members to keep up with a citizen’s legal income tax obligations. to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes owed. All this while Obama has made such rhetorical hay about corporations and the wealthy paying their fair share.
In its previous report the annual IRS audit accounting found that 36 of the Democrat’s White House aides owed $833,000 in back taxes. The year before it was 41 Obama staff members owing $830,000. In the past year Obama’s teleprompter has been on automatic pilot with oft-repeated demands that Americans and profitable corporate giants pay their fair share of taxes.
Because, as you may have heard him claim, Obama so wants to protect the middle class and we really need to pay down the national debt that he’s done so much to grow by 60% to $16.6 trillion in just the 1,511 days he’s been spending.
“America succeeds when everyone does their fair share,” Obama asserted in more than one speech, “when everyone plays by the same rules.” Uh-huh.
What Obama’s staff alone owes would fund the White House tours for 20 weeks and what the rest of the Federal employees owe would fund tours for about 190,000 weeks.
It’s time that Obama’s staff pad their fair share. It’s time they played by the same rules as everybody else.
$100,000 for the White House dog’s Chief of Staff? Really???