The Emperor Has Clothes, But He Has No Money
by James Glaser
March 30, 2009

You and I might think twice before we make a major purchase or decide to go on a lavish vacation, and you know every business is thinking of ways they can cut back on expenses. That is not true for the White House. I found this in the Guardian web page. It was written by Paul Harris and Robin McKie of the Observer.

Obama will fly into London for his first visit to the UK as president of the United States on Tuesday to take part in the G20 summit in the capital's Docklands area. He will not be travelling light.

More than 500 officials and staff will accompany the president on his tour this week - along with a mass of high-tech security equipment, including the $300,000 presidential limousine, known as The Beast. Fitted with night-vision camera, reinforced steel plating, tear- gas cannon and oxygen tanks, the vehicle is the ultimate in heavy armored transport.

In addition, a team from the White House kitchen will travel with the president to prepare his food. As one official put it: "When the president travels, the White House travels with him, right down to the car he drives, the water he drinks, the gasoline he uses, the food he eats. America is still the sole superpower and the president must have the ability to handle any crisis, anywhere, any time."

Now, I don't want you to think that President Obama is doing anything different than President Bush. In fact, Obama is taking 150 less staff than George took last year.

Mr Bush's travelling party includes the Air Force One 747, a back-up 747, a 757 jet and four helicopters. Plus 15 sniffer dogs and an extra complete motorcade to act as a decoy.

I am sure President Obama has sniffer dogs, too, but didn't Obama say something about bringing a change to Washington? The cost for Barack Obama to go to Great Britain will run into the tens of millions of dollars. Money we don't have!

When a President of the United States travels like a emperor, it tends to make our country look like an empire. That is the very image we are trying to downplay. We want the G-20 nations to cooperate with us in trying to fix the fiscal mess the world is in. The rest of the world believes that America caused the problem in the first place. We want their help in bailing out the financial sector.

Remember when the automobile industry CEOs flew into Washington in their private jets? We all thought that looked bad, and we told them so.

Barack Obama is flying into London looking every bit like he is from the richest country on earth, not the greatest debtor nation. He is going to look like he can afford anything, and that is probably what the world is going to tell him. "You Americans spend like you have it, so now you can bail yourself out."

Barack Obama talked about change, but he is spending our money just like he was George Bush. George Bush never figured out that we are broke. Barack Obama knows better, but he chooses to keep spending.

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