The AP has a story about President Obama’s themes for the upcoming midterm elections. They are pretty familiar already — don’t give the keys back to the Republicans, who are just obstructionists — but that is not what I find interesting about the article.
No, the significant statement comes about two-thirds of the way down, after the reporter describes the fundraisers the President will attend on a three-day tour. The sentence states: “By pairing official events each day with political ones, the White House can bill taxpayers for most of the cost of the trip, a tradition that predates Obama and one he plans to continue aggressively.”
This is just another example of how politicians of both parties routinely use the federal treasury as their own piggy bank. I don’t have any objection to politicians campaigning; that would be like objecting to the sun rising in the morning. But is it too much to ask that Presidents who want to go on the campaign trail to tout their policies do so on their own dime, and not dip into the federal till and increase our budget problems to pay for their self-promotion? If it saves the public fisc a few million dollars in travel costs, I think we can do without yet another presidential visit to a “clean energy” business or automotive parts factory that was ginned up merely to provide cover for taxpayer funding of a purely political campaign trip.