White House tours, vaccinations, criminal releases: Administration seeing pushback on budget cut claims

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  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    March 8, 2013 2:46 p.m.

    It's not His house. It's the people's.

    If Mexico City can keep the presidential palace open for tours during this recession, the United States of America can keep the White House tours.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    March 7, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    Re: UtahBlueDevil

    You sure got one thing right about Obama "speaches and talking to the public is his job".
    The trouble with Obama is that it is the only thing he does as President. Speeches by the way are nothing more than campaigning for policy, always have been and in Obamas case he has not stopped campaigning. All speeches do is communicate something in person to a small group of people. In todays world a President really does not need to go anywhere to inform people. He has a massive media that will carry his water. He would be a better President if he did not waste time talking to small groups of people and spent more time talking to the people in D.C. who can get things done.

    AND, if the next Republican President finds himself with a 17 trillion dollar debt, I'd hope he too would save money by limiting travel. A leader leads by setting an example.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 7, 2013 12:22 p.m.

    Badger55 - oh, completely understood.... and it resulted in......

    m.g. scott - Perhaps the golf thing is true.... but the big difference on the speeches, that is his job. And no, the security levels in the white house are much different when it is open to the public, and when it is closed. And again, on the cost thing.... tours is not the Presidents job.... speaches and talking to the public... is his job. And if a Republican follows, it will be their job too.

    Worf....because again, being head of state means traveling to other countries... it is the their job to do that. How hard is this to get. I can show you where head of state is detailed in the constitution. I don't see where having an open house to the public is. And I don't see where tours of the capital building is either. I like them... but on the list of must do items as detailed by their job descriptions - tour host isn't there.

    This is how petty the argument has gotten. Fine - no travel. And no travel for the next republican president too.... these Obama specific prohibitions just smell bad.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 7, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Let's tighten our belts, and sacrifice a little.

    Subtract one vacation to India, and we have funds White House tours for decades.

    How hard is that.

    Use a search for "Obama vacation to India", and check it out.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    March 7, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    I do have to say that Obama should now not be going on golfing outings or be traveling to different places on Air Force One just to give a 30 minute speech. How would it look to do that and then say that there is no money for a White House tour. I've been on one of those, and frankly the WH staff and a few Secret Service agents who are all there anyway seemed to be running the show. How much money could that really cost? Especially when compared to the tens of thousands of dollars to fly AF1 and have all the usual staff and security along.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 7, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    My first semester of college was filled with low grades. My parents were furious, because they paid my tuition, and housing.

    I then took no more money, and my future report cards were never discussed. I graduated totally on my own without taking a dime from any one, and today I'm free from loans, and debt. Freedom feels great.

    I wish our follow citizens would do the same. We should depend on our own abilities to care for our family, and welfare.

    Government should not be our parents, and budget cuts would be a non-issue.

    Being a service, and not a career,--government would rotate its personal every two years except for three with the president.

    Oh, how simple it is.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    March 7, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    That is funny. Obama on million dollar vacations while we can't afford vaccinations for our children.

    In the end, I don't care that much about his vacations but the government needs to cut more. Private businesses have been doing it for several years, no reason the government shouldn't be doing the same.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 7, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    Let's see, the White House is open for tours for about 4 hours a day. Roughly 30 Uniformed Secret Service agents run the tours. They make roughly 30 bucks an hour. So that means the Secret Service costs $3600.00 a day, which translates into $18000.00 a week. Got this info from KSl this morning.

    I'm thinking that Obama's Florida golf junket cost way more than that. Air Force one costs $179,750 per hour to operate according to USA Today. Some peg the cost at $181,000.00 per hour.

    So a 3.5 hour trip to golf with Tiger in Florida cost the taxpayers $629,123.00 while the plane is in the air. That doesn't count the plane transporting the presidential limo or Suburban, Security costs, etc.

    Seems like Obama ought to cut his vacations, not White House tours.

  • Badger55 Nibley, Ut
    March 7, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Utah Blue devil,
    Abraham Lincoln was one of the most open presidents in history. Often there would be tourists and "office seekers"(people looking for employment) visiting the WH. Lincoln even held a state funeral there for the first Officer to be killed in the Civil War.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2013 7:24 a.m.

    It's not a true cut to the budget, when you increase the amount you're going to borrow and spend and then cut back on that, but, still are spending more than the year before. That's still an increase.

    I'll dumb it down a bit. You hear of a great sale 50% off at a store. Before they give a 50% off they raise the cost of the product 100%, and then take 50% off. You're told that you're saving 50%, but, really you are paying 50% more.

    Does that make sense?

    Maybe I'll put it in terms obama supporters will understand. You are told that you're going to get more food stamps and welfare each month. They increase it by 10% because you're a human being and you're worth it. However, they tack on 25% tax and limit what you can purchase. You now have less than what you had before. They can tell you and the media backs them up that they increase your food stamps by 10%. But, you're actually worse off than when you started.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    March 7, 2013 6:25 a.m.

    In the private sector cuts are nothing new. The strategy is to cut out layers of middle management, cut travel and manage the cost of equipment and supplies. You double up the duties of staff to do their own filing and type their own memos. And you watch to see when people go to lunch and return. In the private sector you protect your core services from the cuts.
    But there is no incentive in government. In fact, you want to prove to the taxpayers that you need all that money you used to get.
    Obama himself has said we don't have a spending problem. Until he recognizes that we do and starts acting accordingly we will not fix our fiscal problems. Since Obama is the face of the Executive Branch, he must direct the operational managers to cut out layers of middle management, cut travel and manage costs. Try as he might to blame the GOP, he's in charge of operations.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 7, 2013 5:43 a.m.

    David... I appreciate your detailed response. I have not read that book, I will have to look it up. But Lincoln also is an interesting person for the congressman to have used. The world we live in is far different then the Washington of the 1800'a. There was a lot of grand standing going on between the two sides of the Potomac. Security around the White House was much more lax then it is today, period. And in the end, the lack of security resulted in Lincoln loosing his life.

    My main point is that every crook and cranny should be looked at for savings. The White House tours cost the American people millions. If that needs to go to save money - so be it. There are a lot of other parts of Washington to see and do. If congress doesn't want to put the cost of tours on the table as things to look at, that is just an indication of where their priorities are.

    If to balance the budget we had to open the Smithsonian at noon rather than 10am.... it should be considered. But it doesn't seem to be about the money to me.

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    March 6, 2013 8:34 p.m.

    You could tell business didn't think sequestration was a bad idea when the DOW hit an all-time high AFTER the sequestration deadline.

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 6, 2013 8:34 p.m.


    Lincoln didn't have "tourists" going through the White House during the Civil War, but if you have read Team of Rivals you will read that citizens visited Lincoln. Initially there were very few limits upon when a citizen could pay President Lincoln a visit. Lincoln eventually began restricting these types of visits to specific days and times so he could focus more of his attention on the war effort and other presidential duties.

    The point is that the White House does not need to turn away these tours even under the sequestration. Obama is simply exaggerating for the cameras. He is still in campaign mode trying to earn himself points and weaken the opposition, rather than doing the people's business.

    Obama should be focused on solving the nation's spending problem, deficit, debt, massive entitlement obligations, pending social security insolvency, revamping the tax code, and unifying the country. Instead, he golfs, he blames, and he campaigns.

    We got what we voted for and are the poorer for it. Rather, I got what others voted for and we are all the poorer for it.

  • sammysd Riverton, UT
    March 6, 2013 8:13 p.m.

    @canyontreker - I never said it was only one-sided. I was only explaining what Harris was saying and what the article was stating. He wasn't accusing Obama of cutting too much as Cowboy Dude was saying. It was that he was saying half the cut would cause a problem but the full cut wouldn't. That is what Harris was getting at. It didn't make sense.

    I agree all parties are at fault and driving us to more problems. I wish those we elected (both sides) would quit campaigning and blaming and work on compromise. That is what they are supposed to do.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    March 6, 2013 7:43 p.m.

    I remember when Prop 13 in California was proposed that local officials put up signs on fire stations stating that if it passed, that particular station would be closed. Well, it passed and the stations remained open.

    The public may be guilible in some instances (voting for Obama for a 2nd term) but Abraham Lincoln had it right when he said: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

    Obama specializes in oratory, deception and never taking responsibility for a poor decision. Just look at how many times the White House it at odds with the Congress, the people, or common sense. Of course the media always gives him a pass.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 6, 2013 7:19 p.m.

    " Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, also criticized Obama, saying that if Abraham Lincoln could keep the White House open during the Civil War, Americans are entitled to answers as to why Obama can't do the same during sequestration."

    "Disappointed tourists could take solace in the fact that, as House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, promised shortly after the White House announcement, tours at the U.S. Capitol will continue."

    Surely this is a joke....that tourist visits is a high priority?

    And no, Lincoln didn't have tour groups going through the White House during the war! He didn't have tourist groups going through, period. The first tours offered were during Calvin Coolidge's term as President - which was between 1923 and 1926.

    If this claim is so baseless, how in the world is anyone supposed to trust any of the other "research" done in this editorial. Besides that, don't just cut and paste from Politico. I can read that site for myself. Put a little more effort in here, check the facts, and then write something. And if a senator makes a quote that fits the given narrative sounds just too good... it probably is.

    Politics gone amuck.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    March 6, 2013 6:25 p.m.

    @sammysd - Same point on the other end. Harris is part of the group scaring us to believe Obama is spend spend, yet some of his cuts are higher than what the Republicans are demanding. It goes on and on.

  • sammysd Riverton, UT
    March 6, 2013 5:29 p.m.

    @Cowbuy Dude - You are missing the point. Harris was not mad that Obama proposed cutting twice as much money in his budget than the sequester cut. It was that with Obama cutting twice the amount of money in his budget they were still able to keep vaccinating all the children in Maryland. However Obama wants everyone to believe that the sequester would require kids to lose their vaccinations. If Obama's budget can be implemented with the cuts and not affect vaccinations how can the sequester cut at half the dollar amount brought impact the vaccinations negatively? Harris was using this to show the scare tactics being used by the administration to force the House's hand and the inconsistencies in Obama's statements.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    March 6, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    Obama didn't tell the truth? How can that be. Like the sequester was not his idea or so he said Oct.24, 2012. He blamed it on the Congress. Since then Bob Woodward has said it was Obama's idea. Sen. Nelson D. said it was Obama's idea. Three White House Officials have said Obama fibbed as it was Obama's idea. Isn't that a sweet little way to say the President is a (dare I say it) LIAR. But we never knew it until now. Hah Hah.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    March 6, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    It's almost unbelievable to see the extent the current administration (Obama) will go to to keep from spending less money!
    It's extremely sad that individual agencies are being prohibited by the administration from making the mandatory cuts in their areas where it will lessen the negative impact. Obama purposely wants these budget cuts to negatively effect as many people as possible, in order to try to loudly blame the GOP for all of it, to consequently gain demo seats in the House of Representatives in 2014. He obviously does not want any further checks and balances over his extremely liberal agenda wish-list during his last few years in office.
    This is sadly being turned into a political power-play. It's playing politics at the expense of the American people. Hopefully, the voters will see right thru this and it will backfire on president Obama.
    After all, it was Obama who signed this sequester option into law in February of 2011. And now he refuses to compromise his desire to raise taxes (again) in being able to work with Congress to end the sequester. Tax and spend. Tax and spend. Will it ever end?

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    March 6, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    "So actually, the president cut twice as much in his budget. Can I assume that the president's proposed cut would've reduced funding to 4,100 children in Maryland?" Harris asked.

    I don't usually defend Obama, but this is what is wrong with Washington. Now, the President proposed to cut too much?

    It's all a blame game that nobody can win.