Letter: Taxes for a party

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    Irony Guy,
    I know the Reagan inauguration party was paid for by private donations. I remember the left complaining about it at the time and the fact that it was completely paid for with private donations. I'm pretty sure this party will also be paid for by private donors.


    Steve C. Warren
    Re "paid for by the President."

    Where does the President get this kind of money? We pay his salary... right? Do we pay him millions?

    I'm pretty sure it's paid for by private donors (not the President out of pocket).

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 3:35 p.m.

    Other Presidents have been criticized for their excesses.

    President Bush was criticized for taking vacations (remember Sandy Shehan camping outside his Texas home)...

    You're going to have a hard time selling this as, "unfettered hatred the right wing has for this President".

    Criticism of what he spends traveling and entertaining Hollywood friends in Washington is not limited to THIS President. Remember President Clinton and his rock-star parties in the White House?


    I don't hate this President. I'm tired of any criticism of this President being assumed to be a right-wing conspiracy, racism, etc.


    "Leave the First Lady alone"?

    Where were you when Laura Bush was being attacked by the left?

    As First Lady, she took five goodwill trips to Africa. The purpose of these has mostly been to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and malaria, and also stressed the need for education and greater opportunities for women. And trips to promote and gain support for President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS relief including Zambia (2007), Mozambique (2007), Mali (2007), Senegal (2007), and Haiti (2008).

    And she was criticized. And her travel wasn't to entertain her and her entourage.

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    The complete incompetence of you rightwing nutcases is amazing. The level of your hatred is astonishing. After what George Bush did to this country you even saying 1 word shows how out of touch with reality you are. Sad that a very high percent of americans are so bigoted, and out of touch. Greatest narion on earch? Maybe, but not her inhabitants. Some are just delusional.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    There is no point in responding to letters like this one. There is nothing that Mr. or Mrs Obama can do that will please certain people. Absolutely nothing. You might as well not even try talking sense to these "outraged" folks, because when it comes to the Obamas, they just aren't going to listen. It's bizarre and like nothing I've ever seen before.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    Hillary will be throwing parties for Bill. Watch for letters from 2016 to 2024.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 26, 2014 6:44 a.m.

    Sven.... as a "moderate" ( in your world flamming liberal) who works in the Oil and Gas industry developing the models to determine the effects of fracing... I can tell you the extreme picture you portray is based on silly political rhetoric - or simply hatred - and little on fact.

    There is no reason to believe oil companies can't continue to prosper, without federal subsidies, or subsidies to the level they are today. And in the middle of this rhetorical sandwich of baloney and ham... it amazes me that some will fight to subsidize Exxon.... yet argue that subsidies to family farms are anti-capitalist. Which of the two is more critical to our standard of living?

    Challenging business and economic models does not equate to childish "disdain". It is simply a quest to find better ways. 100 years ago in the town I live, kids as young as 8 used to work in the cotton mills... deemed necessary to protect their standard of living. We have done away with child labor.... and our standard of living seems to have survived somehow.

    Sven... we get your outraged... but by what is still not clear.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 11:54 p.m.

    As long as we keeping track, how come the Bushes always went home to Texas and the Reagan's to California and the Kennedy's to Massachusetts and the Carter's to Georgia but the obama's never go to Chicago. And Michelle's extra stay in Hawaii cost us millions but then all you democrats who have written to criticize the author don't care and that is part of the problem.
    We need a person that is capable of being president not a person who just moves from party to party and fund raiser to fund raiser and campaign speech to campaign speech. We need a qualified leader.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:13 p.m.

    @The Real Maverick:

    So, in the mind of a liberal, what's wrong with our nation are letters like this, and of course, EVIL corporations like "big oil." Funny no outrage from you concerning our corrupt federal government. (Benghazi, NSA, IRS, Fast and Furious, destruction of our healthcare system).

    It will not be from the issues you mentioned, that our nation will get what it deserves, it will instead be from the things that the left celebrates.

    As an aside, please tell me: 1) do you drive a car?, 2) do you heat your home?, 3) do you use any petroleum based products in your home?, 4) Do you ever travel by aircraft?, 5) have you went to a store in the past 1-3 days to purchase any products or services that you needed?, 6) do you ever have need for a medication?

    I'll take an educated guess and say you would answer "yes" to all of these questions. The fact is, “big oil” has made our lives, and our standard of living something we should be thankful for. Instead, you have nothing but disdain for these companies…which BTW, employ millions of Americans. So, are you going to stop using petroleum based products?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 25, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    Badgerbadger gives us this quote....

    "Weird how people defend this behavior, and call everyone names who does not."

    What behavior are people defending? Having a birthday party is an offense needing defending?

    Let me ask you this.... do you think that just perhaps when Jenna Bush got married.... it cost the tax payers some money? Do you think the Bush's footed the bill for the secret service detail at the wedding down in Crawford - and transportation of all the people down and back.... or reimbursed the local police for the extra protection and security? And surely the wedding reception held at the White House.... that didn't cost the tax payer a single cent? Right?

    Or was that different, because Jenna is - you fill in the blank. I am sure there is a really good reason for the different standard being applied.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 7:52 p.m.

    mcbillay said:

    "This is such a pressing issue. It's a national emergency, really. Especially since food wasn't even served at her party, netting the First Lady yet another criticism."

    You know, you make a great point. Kind of like the way our leftist media swept all of Obama's scandals under the rug like 1) Benghazi (where our Ambassador and Seals died!), 2) NSA, 3) IRS harassing conservative groups, 4) Fast and Furious, and 5) Obamacare, just to name a few, but have devoted non-stop coverage to NJ Gov. Christie's road closure "scandal."

    It made me chuckle that you, with pride, observed: "...food wasn't even served at her party..." You don't find that just a bit tacky for the First Family...really? These two tightwads only spend lavishly when it's on the American tax payers dime.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    I remember Nancy Reagan spending over $1 million (at 35 years ago) for just a china set.

    [and I hope Michelle used them for serving cake and ice cream].

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    It's these types of letters that really make me depressed. I think this country really has peaked.

    If we must waste time and ink space on opinion pieces to write garbage like this, rather than actually tackle real local and national issues, then how can we expect to solve anything?

    If the dialog today has become so uncivil, so petty, and so immature, then all hope in actually discussing solutions for real issues is lost.

    This country deserves everything it gets. It deserves to be in bondage to corporations, its land to be ravaged by big oil, and its youth sent to endless war.

    It really is that simple.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    A White House official made the following statement several days ago, which was quite easy to find online: "The President threw the First Lady a dance party last Saturday for her 50th birthday. It was a private gathering of family and friends and was paid for by the president."

    The key words, of course, are "paid for by the President."

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    I assume the writer would also have protested the budget-busting price of the Reagan inaugurals, which as I remember were by far the most expensive in history. (Of course, that was Reagan, so it's different, right? This is called "irony.")

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    DN, did you pull this letter from the Comic pages? When will this POTUS and First Lady be judged on the same criteria as their predecessors?

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Jan. 25, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    Actually it was a good comment and question. One that is okay to wonder and ask now or in the past. Presidents and their families pay their own groceries. Whether or not all the costs of birthday parties for either the president or his wife is paid by them or by the government is not known. But honoring the president and his wife on their birthday is traditional. And appropriate.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    This type of opinion piece does a disservice to the rational people of Utah. Our state's reputation is poor and an irrational letter like this makes it worse.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    Michelle is welcome to have a birthday party, on her own money. Her birthday party is a private affair, and should be paid for by her (and her husband's) bank account. As long as that is the way it went down, no problem.

    But if the taxpayers paid one dollar for the party, that is wrong. It is not official business. It should not be paid for by taxes any more than my birthday party should be a tax deductible expense from my business.

    I fail to see why any true American would think it is the taxpayers job to pay for any person's birthday party. We don't have royalty, because we don't think the taxpayers should lavish anyone by law at the expense of all.

    Weird how people defend this behavior, and call everyone names who does not.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    Ill bet that party didn't cost as much as what the previous Utah Attorney General (s) accepted in fun vacations?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    However, as a responsible taxpayer, I would like to know how much her birthday celebration cost the United States taxpayers?


    Good Grief, talk about petty complaints.
    Stooping to new lows.

    Birth Certificates didn't work,
    Fast & Furious didn't work,
    Benghazi didn't work,
    Mitt Romney didn't work,
    de-funding Obamacare didn't work,
    shutting down the Government didn't work...

    Let's try complaining about the 1st lady's birthday party!

    However, as a responsible taxpayer,
    you should be upset about $100 trillion lost by the Bush economic meltdown,
    $4 trillion in unfunded meddling in the Middle East,
    $1 Trillion in TARP hand-outs to corporations,
    and $224 billion lost by Ted Cruz and Mike Lee's little Shut-down tantrum.

    Birthday parties....
    Good grief.

    Talk about motes and beams in one's own eye.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    Given that the president has to buy his own groceries in the White House (yes, that's the law) it seems a bit improbable that a birthday party for Mrs. Obama's 50th is going to be a burden on taxpayers.

    And when other First Ladies also celebrated their birthdays in the White House, were you equally up in arms?

    Moreover, given that any number of corporations throw lavish parties for their executives and write them off of their taxes as "business expenses," do you really believe that in terms of taxpayer-funded parties this 50th birthday party for the First Lady truly represents something worthy of your outrage?

    "Obama Derangement Syndrome" (a visceral hatred of _anything_ associated with our current president) is a real phenomenon, and this petty, spiteful letter, unencumbered by the thought process, is exhibit A.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    I'm sure you were outraged at Bush and Regan's parties as well. How much have the taxpayers paid Mrs. Obama for the work she does with world leaders? Zip. We're getting a pretty good deal.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    Has civic discourse slipped to a level where this kind of letter is worthy of comment?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    I imagine your equally angry that the state is going to dump 2 million to fight to take constitutional rights away from people, being a responsible taxpayer and all. Right?

    Jan. 25, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    So what exactly is the expected payoff for making such devisive commentts? Does the author feel better about themself? Do they think they have scored some political points for having made such comments? What is the point other then to be cruel?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    According to news reports, including from Fox News, the President paid for his wife's birthday party.

    I'm sorry I missed your letter asking about Laura Bush's parties while her husband was in the White House, but I'm sure her husband also paid.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 25, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    Whatever the figure, it's sure to be less than the cost of the 9 ships the US Navy wanted to retire, but which Congress legislated to remain in service in last week's appropriations bill because their maintenance protects jobs and campaign donors in various Congress Critters' districts. Or the new tanks the US Army doesn't want but that Congress ordered be built to keep the assembly lines going for the same reasons.

    Seriously, that's the stuff that taxpayers should be angry about instead of constant whining about the Obamas' vacations or parties, which amount to a thimble in an ocean.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 6:48 a.m.

    I wholeheartedly thank the Obamas for their fine service to our Nation.....even if First Lady Michelle Obama's birthday party cost a million dollars....Michelle Obama and her family deserve our respect and admiration. In Utah, it is STILL wildly popular to whine and complain about our Amazing President Barack Obama and His family. Many religions teach that in our nation we believe in being subject to elections, presidents, magistrates, and laws. I've yet to hear of a religion that teaches being a poor-sport, sore-loser.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 5:59 a.m.

    Would you be asking the same question if Mitt had won and the Romneys had celebrated Ann's birthday?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 25, 2014 5:33 a.m.

    I understand that people can have an issue with taxpayer funded trips for elected officials.

    A dollar spent is a dollar spent. So, if the is the "real" issue, party affiliation would not matter.

    But alas, just another Partisan hater who will sink to pathetic depths to rally more hatred from the like minded. As if that is necessary.

    Does the writer have any idea (or even care) what other presidents have spent on celebrations at tax payer expense.

    This new breed of partisan haters (born in the last 6 years) is off the charts.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:25 a.m.

    Good Grief!

    The mere fact that no other First Lady has ever been criticized for having a birthday party only shows the unfettered hatred the right wing has for the President. Seriously folks, how can you deny that at least some of this vitriol isn't racially motivated?

    Unbelievable! Seriously, unbelievable. And yes, I'm angry. Leave the First Lady alone, for crying out loud. Such petty insults.