There is no debating the fact that our nation is in financial turmoil. We are posting record deficits, lacking quality employment opportunities and suffering from a dire real estate market. We spend more money than we bring in. What’s worse is that the federal government continues to spend at an alarming pace, but we all know that.
The area of contention resides in determining the causes of America’s economic downturn and how to fix the problem. According to the president, we should criminalize the private sector, which creates jobs. We should pay more to the government to fund the lifestyles of those who want to freeload.
In my opinion, the biggest problem in America is our entitlement mentality. Millions of Americans believe that it is their right to receive freebies from the government, whether its welfare or housing assistance. People don’t believe that they should have to work as hard as the rest of us to provide for their families.
Why should they? The federal government has created an environment that motivates and rewards people for sitting on their butts, doing nothing and living off our dime.
So, where does this attitude come from? For one, we can start by looking at the Obamas. They came to the White House with the same entitlement mentality, “What’s yours is theirs!” They are under the assumption that we work as hard as we do to fund their entertainment exploits and vacations.
The president has been under extreme criticism for his myriad golf outings and vacations. I am not part of that camp. I believe the job of being president of the most powerful nation on Earth is the hardest and most stressful job on the planet. The president needs to have some fun and relaxation, even if we have to pay for it.
However, why should we pay for the first lady’s extravagant vacations? When is enough enough, especially when millions of Americans are struggling to put food on the table and to pay their mortgages or rent?
We recently learned that “we” paid over $400,000 to send the first lady, her daughters and others to South Africa. As a matter of fact, our final vacation investment for air travel alone came in at $424,142. The kicker is that this does not include food, lodging and an African safari to Kruger National Park. This is at a time when her husband is preaching about spending cuts and reining in the spending.
The Obamas would have you believe that the first lady went to advance our relations with South Africa and Botswana. If that were the case, then why have her daughters listed as senior staff on the manifest? Perhaps we should make them czars. What happened to the most transparent administration in history? Why did Judicial Watch have to sue to obtain the price tag of her vacation?
If the rest of Americans should be expected to make sacrifices, then shouldn’t the first lady? According to the Telegraph, inside sources at the White House have indicated that the first lady’s 42 days of vacation over the past year may have cost taxpayers nearly $10 million, including her infamous trip to Spain.
This is an outrage and an embarrassment to the White House. I wish I had that kind of vacation budget, but I don’t. I am simply not entitled to it. I have to work to pay for my family’s vacations, whereas the first lady is simply entitled to them, on our dime. I guess what’s yours is theirs.
• Michael “Winey” Weinstein can be heard on The Mike&Winey Show on 550 KFYI. (www.mike&winey.com)