March 19, 2014

Frivolously Spending the American People’s Money

By In Blogs, C.Jay Engel

Yesterday, Conservative Action Alerts published a post informing us that Michelle Obama, along with Sasha and Malia Obama, were to travel to China for some “Soft Diplomacy.”  Although Michelle Obama is not an elected official and should therefore be funding her own travels, it was also mentioned that –surprise, surprise—you and I taxpayer would be footing the bill.

And yet, as reported by BenSwann.com yesterday, “White House officials refuse to tell U.S. taxpayers how much they will shell out for the trip.”  The article also pointed out that “Michelle Obama has come under fire in the past for taking expensive, tax-payer funded vacations.  Major trips included her $487,000 tour of Spain and a $424,142 stay in Africa.”

The mentioned price-tags for past trips triggered a considerable amount of frustration from conservatives, libertarians, and others who saw this as an example of the fact that the Obamas, and so many other public officials, don’t take the economic realities very seriously.  The fact that the current trip’s expenses will remain a mystery is revealing.  It speaks volumes to the thesis that the White House priorities have little to do with the priorities of main street America.  Indeed, the nature of the State is that its priorities are not in line with the priorities of individuals and families in general.  That the White House would prefer to spend money frivolously in the dark rather than inform the American people of where their money is being spent is a reiteration of the fact that their image means more than their responsibilities.

Compared to our trillion dollar budgets, these numbers might seem inconsequential.  But the principle of the matter is that all this is an outrage.  It is precisely because of things like this that we actually have a trillion dollar budget in the first place.  The sheer lack of respect that the United States government has over money that does not belong to them is the corruption that drives our status as a bankrupt nation.  There is no care in Washington over the public budget because there are no consequences for poor spending habits.  There are no consequences because the State rarely punishes its own except for in cases of PR stunts.

Moreover, the culture of this government, which thinks that it has the authority to fund the travel of an unelected wife of the President to foreign countries, is devoid of any sense of moral standard.  The dollar number, whatever it may be, does not compare to the arrogance that pours forth from a National Government that has gone rouge.  And this isn’t just a White House problem.  The current topic is simply one example of a more systemic cancer that preys on every private citizen.  At every level of Government, in both national parties, there is no respect for the idea the money spent by government is first taken from the people.  The idea that the people can be left in the dark about expenditures, for reasons of government Public Relations, is more than just frustrating.  It is outrageous.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com