How to pay for those White House tours- and then some



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.

And there will be no austerity for the President’s golf game nor will the First Lady have to make any sacrifices. Michelle Obama will host both Beyonce and Adele for her 50th birthday.

beyonce nasty

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.

Simple, eh?

$100,000 for the White House dog’s Chief of Staff? Really???

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Study my Letter on PhilosophyInAction”.
“Governments”, “authorities”, “laws”, “lawmakers”, etc., don’t exist. Free people, Free societies, Free countries, like THIS one, don’t HAVE such things.
“Taxation” is just another word for Stealing or Theft. There are no such things as “Stealing Laws”, “Theft Laws”, “Tax Laws”, “Tax Crimes”, etc. Nobody “owes” the so-called “IRS”, etc., anything. The so-called “federal government” is not only Bankrupt, & Head-Over- Heels In Debt, It’s Operating Way In The Red, & It Has A Huge, & Increasing, Budget Deficit. There’s virtually zero $ for anything whatsoever.
(Instead of searching for Crazy Inbox, try June 5, 2012 p=6498.)

The reason those people owing back taxes haven’t paid or gotten fired is that the leadership is turning a blind eye. Government employees only get away with what their bosses allow.

I remember when senators and congressmen were caught writing bad checks in the six figure numbers. What happened to them? Nothing.

The republican House voted in favor of sequestration, which entailed automatic, across-the-board budget cuts with minimal flexibility to pick and choose what gets cut. The picking and choosing that can be done doesn’t include transferring excess savings from one department to lessen the impact of sequester in another; such juggling can only be done within each department’s own budgets. Consequently, if you’re dealing with small areas of government with relatively small allocations of money, there’s very little internal juggling that can be done.

Republican lawmakers now would like to see clever juggling done in such a way as to cover up the fact that cutting budgets has real world consequences—a cover up that the Executive Branch has precisely zero political motivation to participate in.

Maybe they really are as dumb as they sometimes seem.

I don’t approve of anyone not paying taxes that are legally due.

Federal workers owe $3.5 billion in back taxes?

That’s a favorite item the right trots out periodically to generate anti-government anger in the peanut gallery.

The thing about federal workers is that the government is paying their salaries or their annuities. The amounts individuals owe are known, and delinquent amounts are likely to be recovered. $3.5 billion is rolling number. It includes all late taxes at the point the number is computed; it isn’t a statement of how much never gets paid.

Shall we compare that figure with the most recently estimated tax gap? The tax gap is the amount of legally owed federal taxes that the IRS computes is evaded each year. It’s money legally owed that the IRS probably isn’t going to recover—given the GOP’s persistent efforts to reduce the IRS enforcement budget—which contributes directly to the escalating national debt. In 2012 the annual amount was computed to be $385 billion—$381.4 billion of which would apparently be attributable to private sector tax evaders.

Private sector tax dodgers make federal employees and retirees look like they should be awarded halos.

Wow! Ever see the Mrs O give a ‘dirty look’??? Now I can see why the Mrs Ofraud indulges in Beyonce ….they can both give that same ‘look of contempt’ and almost the same way too!! lol

What a farce this is…what DRAMA!!

So, the Ofraud didn’t get ‘his way’ and now he is punishing little kids….whodathunk??!!

Ummm Greg…The Ofraud DID have the authority and the choice [before the sequester occurred] to pick and choose where the much needed Federal cuts would be….the one [of many] times he had the opportunity to lead from the front, he ‘Chose’ NOT TO…

Yea, I don’t give a flying whatever what people and those like you say….the Republicans did the right thing …”somebody” had to make a hard decision… Ofraud HAD his chance like so many other ‘chances’ and did nothing…Oh, except Blame the Rich and Blame the Republicans…

Remember the General Services Administration??? Their 400,000 dollar “trip” to Las Vegas “with all the trimmings” ?? This little gang had left over dollars in their “budget” and so decided to ‘blow it on a trip’ ON THE TAX PAYERS Last dime… So, yea, with this shit going on sequestration in my view is a Good Thing… how many other Govt agencies have “blown” taxpayer money in order to decrease their already over bloated budgets???

Yea, I don’t give a flying whatever what people and those like you say….the Republicans did the right thing…”somebody” had to make a hard decision…

The majority nitwits in the House made no hard decision. They took the easy way out of a dilemma that they themselves created, when they brought the nation to the point of default on its debt. They also proposed a budget that was so one-sidedly reflective of their crack-brain anti-social programs agenda that it stood absolutely no chance of being accepted, and then arrogantly made it clear that they wouldn’t budge an inch in the direction of compromise—compromise being the mechanism that allows a two-party system of government to even work.

The right thing to do would have been to agree to compromise, trading a list of reasonable tax increases and loophole closures for a reasonable assortment of program and spending cuts. The easy thing to do was to accept sequester as a means of putting things off until tomorrow—which has now arrived.

You can rant about Obama until you’re blue in the face. A solid majority of voters just reelected him. You can also praise Congress “doing the right thing.” Their approval rating presently stands at only 14.7 percenteven lower than it was before the recent election.

The costs of keeping the White House open daily to an endless stream of visitors isn’t just a matter of having tour guides handy. It’s also a matter of significantly higher security expenses. Particularly in an environment where right-wing lunatics are making an average of 30 death threats against the duly elected President of the United States per day.

The sequester was obama’s idea. He has admitted that. Republicans, some republicans jumped aboard because it was the only way to get this despot to stop spending. Republicans have admitted their part in this, the demoncrats have not . Regardless obama SIGNED this into law. It is HIS responsibility. While hundreds of thousands of workers are either losing their jobs ( terms, temps, intermittant and some contractors) or being furloughed obama has not stopped spending. What is michelle’s birthday going to cost the American people? What do his many golf trips cost the American people? He cares nothing for the American people he believes himself to be king. He believes he is beyond having to do what he was voted to do. ( voted in by massive voters fraud only beginning to be discovered) this man has besmirched the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the oval office. They will have to fumigate when this leech leaves office.

Our current administration has moved to thinking they are royalty, without the ermine.

@Disenchanted, #9:

It was proposed and signed into law as a desperate, last-minute measure to prevent the United States of America from defaulting on it’s debts and essentially shutting down—an outcome which could have been totally disastrous. Republican lawmakers put the nation in that situation.

Golf trips? Who cares about golf trips? The President’s recreational activities are totally irrelevant. People need to snap out of it and focus on reality.

Who do you think pays for them? Even if he paid for the lessons, taxpayers pay for the plane, not one but 2 (C130s to carry secret service cars and his gas guzzler etc) , the secret service, extra security etc etc. when his oldest daughter went to NY with friends the tax payers funded for it. If you don’t believe that you are a fool.

Our country is in a state of despair. As the ‘leader’ of this country he should damn well lead. He is NOT king and his wife who believes she has some power is NOT queen. They are a disgrace to our country. Believe it or not even liberals are beginning to realize what a buffoon barry is.

@Greg – How about the tax avoiders like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Elizabeth Warren? How do you feel about them refusing to pay their fair share of taxes?

Do you know what total White House operating costs were for 2008, the final year of the Bush administration?

Almost $1.6 billion. (Scroll down to page 32; the amount is $1,592,875,254.00, if you want a more precise figure.) And that didn’t include classified outlays, such as the cost of Air Force One. President Bush made lots of back and forth trips to the ranch, as I recall.

W got some static when he was found to be golfing after he’d sworn off for the duration, but I don’t recall anyone trying to make a federal case out of the cost of his golf balls.

@Brother Bob, #13:

How about the tax avoiders like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Elizabeth Warren?

I think the same rules should apply to and be enforced with everyone.

My only point was that federal employees are far from being the worst offenders. If we want to take a cynical view of that, I suppose we could conclude that might be because they aren’t in a good position to avoid being detected, and are in an even worse position to permanently evade collection of what they owe.


Democrats seemed to care greatly about George Bush’s golf outings and other recreational events.

“Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing.”- Will Smith, MIB

@FAITH7: Have to add to your second paragraph:

Ofraud HAD his chance like so many other ‘chances’ and did nothing…Oh, except Blame the Rich and Blame the Republicans…

____and Bush

And in last sentence I think you meant to say: “maintain budgets” rather than “decrease”

@Disenchanted: #2

I remember when senators and congressmen were caught writing bad checks in the six figure numbers. What happened to them? Nothing.

I remember when the public found out about it, the policy was ended, but I don’t remember if any of them had to pay back the money.

Greg is being disingenuous in blaming the Republicans for the sequester and the fall-out from it. Of course, he does that with every issue, much like what gets laid at the feet of Dr.J concerning Obama by others who frequent this site.

Wrong is wrong, no matter who is engaged in it. Greg, however, seems to have blinders on whenever a politician with a D after their name is in the thick of it. What a partisan hack.

@johngalt: #19
At least he is getting the attention that he is craving, isn’t he?

Who said,“[T]he cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget.
This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.” ?

Budvarakvar@17 – yes yes how could I have left the Bushfact out.??…and yes Maintain was the correct word to use thank you. My frustration overwhelms me at times…lol

Can’t any of you understand simple English?
Study my Letter on PhilosophyInAction
The $16.7+ Trillion ISN’T the National Debt or Public Debt, at all- let alone the $54.7+ Trillion figure.
“National Debts”, “Public Debts”, “Taxpayers’ Debts”, “Countries’ Debts”, “States’ Debts”, “Counties’ Debts”, “Cities’ Debts”, etc., don’t exist. The politicians’ Debts,Deficits, etc., are just that- the politicians’.
Cutting spending in one area doesn’t automatically save any $, at all.
“Debating” gun control doesn’t make sense. “Gun control”, basically speaking, is Unconstitutional, under the 2nd Amendment.
“Debating” “Gay Marriage” doesn’t make sense. There’s no such thing as “Gay Marriage”.
(To find my Letter, try searching for Crazy Inbox 6498.)