Cutting the Essentials and Funding the Junk

by Gerri Willis

 

National parks are closing down as spring approaches, air traffic control towers are going black, high school field trips are being forced to skip tours of the White House and the list of casualties from the sequester goes on and on.

One of our viewers, Alan from Wyoming, recently hit the problem right on the head. He said, “With all of the end of the world rhetoric and Obama threatening to defund everything that is vital, he is doing what politicians always do when money is short.  They cut the essentials... while they fully fund the junk."

In this case, the "junk" is their precious ever-expanding bloated government.

According to the USA Jobs Federal Employment website: when the big bad sequester went into place March 1st there have been nearly 2,600 job openings!

So, while the economy is supposedly crumbling all around us, they want to add thousands of people to Uncle Sam's payroll.

That includes more than 100 positions at the Department of Homeland Security. The same department that said its budget was so slashed by the sequester they had to free illegal immigrants that had been behind bars. Or how about the Department of Agriculture, which warned they would not be able to carefully check food. Just today they said they would be halting inventory publications. They are also hiring over 100 people.

And get this! The V.A has more than 900 new openings... so much for the threat of forcing veterans to live on the streets.

It's not just the new jobs costing millions of dollars, there are the jobs that are already filled!

Around 139 White House staffers are earning six figure salaries! In fact, 20 were making the maximum salary of $172,200!

Apparently, President Obama needs really expensive climate change advisors. His "deputy" assistant for climate change, his "special" assistant, and his "deputy director" earned $370,000 last year alone.

Do you really need three people doing the same thing just with three different titles?

And the worst example of them all: the Chief Calligrapher makes nearly $97,000... not six figures, but pretty close! Her assistants make $94,000 and $86,000. That's $500,000 on invitation writing!

When it comes to White House pay, they make the same argument Wall Street makes: you have to pay more to attract the best people.

It takes a lot for someone to leave the private sector, not that there's a big need for calligraphers in the private sector, but other presidents have done it with less.

The payroll under the Bush administration in his last year in office was $33 million, compared with nearly $38 million last year. Only 18 staffers earned the maximum salary in 2008.

All I can say is stop Mister President. Stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Stop playing politics with people's livelihoods. Stop acting like your hands are tied and Congress is screwing everything up. Stop, as Allen said, cutting the essentials and funding the junk.