It’s been reported that Barack Obama is going focus on income inequality in his SOTU speech:
President Obama will try to pump some vitality into a lackluster second term on Tuesday when he delivers his State of the Union address.
The address will include a “healthy dose” of the income inequality message the White House has focused on in recent weeks, according to one senior administration official familiar with the text.
Naturally, Obama’s proposals will place the burden smack on the shoulders of small business:
The president, who has yet to add to the big legislative accomplishments of his first term, will call for raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour and extending federal unemployment benefits that expired last month.
Gratefully, a majority of Americans have awakened to the fact that Obama is incompetent:
A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday found that a majority of Americans — 53 percent — did not believe the Obama administration was competent at running the government.
Income inequality has gotten worse under Barack Obama:
In other words, income inequality has become more pronounced since the Bush administration, not less.
“Rich people have pulled away, largely because the top 1 percent has been doing quite well — and disproportionately doing quite well under President Obama,” Brooks said. “Remember that the stock market has doubled in value since President Obama took office, and at least 80 percent of those gains have gone to the top 10 percent of the income distribution.”
James Carville has observed that Obama has been a great President for Wall St. For the working guy, not so much.
So let’s have a look at those who are going to hammer us about income inequality.
Barack and Michelle Obama: Net worth $12 million. 160 rounds of golf. Spent $100,000 of taxpayer money for
Marie Antoinette’s his wife’s Hawaiian adventure. The taxpayers of Hawaii have to cough up $350,000 for the extra security:
KAILUA, Hawaii — During her recent visit to Maui and the home of close family friend Oprah Winfrey, First Lady Michelle Obama was escorted by Maui police.
The tab for that protection? $54,233.70, said a spokesman for the Maui Police Department.
That’s a drop in the bucket, though:
Honolulu police protected the first family while they spent some 15 days during the holidays in Kailua, Oahu.
Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department, said Thursday the department spent $293,731.99 for overtime only, an expense that excludes normal salary pay.
Neither county police department will seek federal reimbursement for those expenses, putting the burden on local taxpayers.
In 2008, when the Obamas first visited Oahu during the holidays, the City and County of Honolulu sought reimbursement, but were never repaid. Now the county budgets for the president’s annual holiday visit.
The Obama Hawaiian vacation costs more than $4 million total for travel, staffing, security, housing, car rentals and transportation of vehicles and a helicopter.
Michelle Obama’s extended vacation on the island of Maui, which the president said was an early birthday present for her, also entailed the cost for Secret Servicetravel, rental cars and accommodations, as well as transportation.
White House Spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged in a news conference just after the First Lady flew to Maui that taxpayers are picking up some of the cost of her trip and travel back to Washington D.C., but would not disclose the details.
But they deserve it.
The event was closed to the press, and the White House did not release a guest list or any other details. But two guests spoke to the Tribune on condition of anonymity, describing a bash at which a deejay kept people on the dance floor in the East Room until after 3 a.m. Washington time.
VIP guests, according to sources, included political luminaries Bill and Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, national security adviser Susan Rice, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Democratic National Committee official Donna Brazile.
Other high-profile guests included Sir Paul McCartney, Magic Johnson, Chicago-born actress/singer Jennifer Hudson, singer Janelle Monae, actor Kal Penn, TV personality Al Roker, actress Ashley Judd, tennis great Billie Jean King, retired Olympic figure-skater Michelle Kwan and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the sources said.
Jonathan Karl asked Jay Carney who paid for the party:
White House chief spokesman Jay Carney deflected a reporter’s question asking who paid for the first lady’s 50th birthday bash at Wednesday’s press briefing.
“The first lady had her 50th birthday party and I believe you said that the president picks up the cost for that party?” asked ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
“I think we put out information on that,” Carney said. “I don’t have it here. I refer you to the East Wing.” The White House’s East Wing includes the office space for the first lady and her staff.
“I was just wondering if you have an estimate on what the cost was?” Karl prodded. “I don’t, but I would refer you to the East Wing,” Carney said, putting an end to this line of questioning.
Acting on Carney’s statement, “I think we put out information on that,” White House “Statements & Releases” going back two weeks make no mention of who’s footing the bill for the first lady’s celebration.
You know who paid for this extravagance. We did.
Marie Antoinette Obama’s costly indulgences are nothing new:
President Obama spent President’s Day weekend, Feb. 15-18, golfing in West Palm Beach, Fla., while the first lady and the girls enjoyed a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado, as did Biden.
Taxpayers picked up a tab which totaled $295,437.04 for the personal vacations, according to U.S. Secret Service records from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by Judicial Watch.A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch June 21, 2013, against the U.S. Secret Service found this in the billing records:
* Transportation and lodging costs for the president’s trip totaled $98,135.79. This includes $32,406.50 for the flights, $16,466.25 for rental cars, and $48,490 for hotel rooms.
* The vacation costs for first lady Michelle Obama totaled $81,523.64, including $13,221.30 in flights, $3,925 in rental cars, and $64,377.34 in lodging.
* The expenses for Vice President Biden’s weekend in Aspen totaled $115,777.61, including $5,315 in flights, $92,596 in accommodations, and $17,866.61 in rental cars.
Remember that African safari in 2011?
The United States Air Force documents show that during the six-day trip the first lady and her entourage spent $668.702.01, including hotel and lodging costs of $430,614.18. The trip included a private family safari at a South African game reserve, according to Judicial Watch.
An additional $424,142 was billed to taxpayers for the cost of the flight and crew, according to earlier documents obtained by Judicial Watch, bringing the total cost to more than $1 million.
The Obama daughters were listed as “senior staff” so their expenses could be heaped on the US taxpayer.
And that Spain trip?
But while most of the country is pinching pennies and downsizing summer sojourns – or forgoing them altogether – the Obamas don’t seem to be heeding their own advice. While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her “closest friends.” According to CNN, the group is expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms, more than a third of the lodgings at the 160-room resort. Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times.
Reports are calling the lodgings of Obama’s Spanish fiesta, the Hotel Villa Padierna in Marbella, “luxurious,” “posh” and “a millionaires’ playground.” Estimated room rate per night? Up to a staggering $2,500. Method of transportation? Air Force Two.
To be clear, what the Obamas do with their money is one thing; what they do with ours is another. Transporting and housing the estimated 70 Secret Service agents who will flank the material girl will cost the taxpayers a pretty penny.
Perhaps it could be that the Obamas, who seem to fancy themselves more along the lines of international celebrities than actual leaders, espouse a different view of sacrifice. When Michelle Obama accompanied her husband to Copenhagen along with best buddy Oprah Winfrey, she billed the trip – an ultimately unsuccessful bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago – as follows: “As much of a sacrifice as people say this is for me or Oprah or the President to come for these few days, so many of you in this room have been working for years to bring this bid home.”
A quick jaunt to Denmark is a sacrifice? What portraits in courage!
The Obama’s are just like us:
Incredibly, the Obamas have long portrayed themselves as precisely such commoners. Just this month, Obama told ABC the First Couple is “not that far removed from what most Americans are going through.” And that “it was just a few years ago that we had high credit card balances, we had two kids, thinking about college. We had our own retirement accounts, wondering if we were going to be able to get enough assets in there.”
But you know better:
Instead, Michelle Obama seems more like a modern-day Marie Antoinette – the French queen who spent extravagantly on clothes and jewels without a thought for her subjects’ plight – than an average mother of two. While she’s spent her time in the White House telling parents they should relieve their chubby kids’ dependency on sugar and stressing the importance of an organic veggie garden, hopping a jet to Europe to meet with Spanish royalty isn’t the visual the White House probably wants to project. Perhaps they’ve forgotten the damning image of John Kerry, on the eve of the 2004 election, windsurfing off the coast of Nantucket?
Maybe this is what Michelle meant when she said that the America was “downright mean.”
Nothing says you care about income inequality than partying with Beyoncé and Jay Z at $40,000 a plate, complete with a champagne tower worth $280,000. This really helps reduce the gap between the Obama wealthy and the rest of us. At the time Obama had this to say:
“We’re on the brink of an election, but more importantly, we’re on the brink of moving America in a direction where we’re going to be more just, more fair,” he said at the 40/40 Club in Manhattan, where Jay-Z is an owner. “The economy’s going to grow in a way that includes everybody, an America that’s respected around the world because we’re putting forward our best values and out best ideals.”
“The real problem is there’s no middle class, right? So the gap between the have and have-nots is getting wider and wider… It’s gonna be a problem that no amount of police can solve, because once you have that sort of oppression and that gap is widening, it’s inevitable that something is going to happen.”
What’s he doing about it? Nothing. Is Jay Z spreading his fortune around? Of course not, silly. Then he says don’t demonize the 1%ers:
Jay-Z told the Times that said he told business magnate Russell Simmons, a supporter of the Zuccotti Park demonstrators, that he wouldn’t go “to a park and picnic — I have no idea what to do.” Simmons had asked him to support the protestors.
“I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want? Do you know?” Jay-Z asked Simmons, according to the Times.
Jay-Z, who was born in a rough Brooklyn neighborhood and went on to build a music and business empire, took issue with the Occupy movement’s demonization of business.
“I think all those things need to really declare themselves a bit more clearly because when you just say that ‘the 1 percent is that,’ that’s not true,” he told the Times.
Harry Reid: Net worth about $10 million now but only $1 million when he entered office.
Try this thought experiment. Imagine that someone grows up in poverty, works his way through law school by holding the night shift as a Capitol Hill policeman, and spends all but two years of his career as a public servant. Now imagine that this person’s current salary — and he’s at the top of his game — is $193,400. You probably wouldn’t expect him to have millions in stocks, bonds, and real estate.
But, surprise, he does, if he’s our Senate majority leader, whose net worth is between 3 and 10 million dollars, according to OpenSecrets.org. When Harry Reid entered the Nevada legislature in 1982, his net worth was listed as between $1 million and $1.5 million “or more,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. So, since inquiring minds inquire, let’s try to figure out how Reid’s career in public service ended up being so lucrative. He hasn’t released his tax returns, which makes this an imperfect science, but looking at a few of his investments helps to show how he amassed his wealth.
Darrell Issa (R-Calif) $330,380,031 $464,115,018 $597,850,005
Mark Warner (D-Va) $96,221,316 $257,481,658 $418,742,000
Jared Polis (D-Colo) $69,791,412 $197,945,705 $326,099,998
John K. Delaney (D-Md) $65,151,162 $154,601,580 $244,051,998
Michael McCaul (R-Texas) $102,547,780 $143,153,910 $183,760,040
Scott Peters (D-Calif) $27,518,090 $112,467,040 $197,415,991
Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) $86,307,329 $103,803,192 $121,299,056
Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) $63,269,025 $101,290,514 $139,312,004
Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla) $-58,149,853 $88,802,066 $235,753,986
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) $1,046,071 $87,997,030 $174,947,989
The redoubtable Allen West:
I’m waiting for Obama to apply “income equality” to Jay Z and Beyoncé
Alas, this week we’ve found the theme upon which President Obama and the progressive socialist Left will now stake their claim: equality.
These astute individuals truly believe it is their destiny to make us all equal — as they define it. Listen to the constant rants from the president and the leftist acolytes about “income inequality.” With the full power of the government, either by force or coercion (or both), they shall rectify this inequality and make us all equal. How exactly is that done, and the larger question is, to whom?
Shall we turn to Lebron James and tell him he doesn’t deserve any more in income or compensation, than the 12th listed person on the Heat roster?
Shall President Obama and his pay czar decide what the base level compensation must be across the NBA?
Will the Obama administration turn to Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, and instruct him on team salary caps?
Or shall President Obama, known for his baseball pitching prowess, tell the New York Yankees they must rescind the seven year $155 million contract to Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka — after all the comptroller of NYC believes in “shared prosperity for all over individual success.”
I’m waiting for President Obama to say during his State of the Union address that income inequality is so vital and important as issue that he will issue an executive order that caps the compensation for Hollywood actors and actresses. After all, why do they need all that income?
As well, entertainers such as his dear friends Jay Z and Beyonce must see a cut in their income and their concerts must be made more affordable to all Americans.
Great ideas all. Beyoncé tickets cost around $100 for a good seat. How does the average person afford that?
Let’s see Obama issue an Executive Order stipulating that all actors be paid the same in Hollywood and that all basketball players receive the same salaries. Let celebrities and Obama supporters demonstrate their sincerity in their belief that income inequality be lessened.
Without a doubt the proposals offered by Obama and the left will be to add burdens to the middle class- increases in minimum wage and more regulations. They will offer up class envy on a plate and make the middle class pick up the tab. And it won’t work because it doesn’t address the real problem.
If Obama wants to help address income inequality, he can start here:
A new study from Harvard University on the ability of low-income children to achieve social mobility found that the largest hindrance to moving up the income ladder is being raised by a single parent.
“The strongest and most robust predictor [of social mobility] is the fraction of children with single parents,” the study said.
Class envy is much easier.
In the old USSR the apparatchiks spewed the party line but lived far above those they ruled. It is the same for democrats and liberals.
Enfin je me rappelai le pis-aller d’une grande princesse à qui l’on disait que les paysans n’avaient pas de pain, et qui répondit : Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.