Scanning the on-line edition of July 21st edition of the Chicago Tribune I noted the following headline: “PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S CHICAGO HOME: CITY SPENDS AT LEAST $2.2 MILLION TO PROTECT IT.”
That sure caught my eye and the cost represents the time frame from the November, 2008 election to the January, 2009 Inauguration. Upon reading further I was astounded to learn that the Chicago Police Department has been told reimbursement will be made by the federal government for about $1.5 million of the cost, but they are still holding the bag for some $700,000. Further, the expense of protecting the President’s home from January, 2009 to April 30, 2009, some $650,000, is not currently scheduled to be paid back. That’s three months at $650,000…that’s $2.6 million a year that the city is expected to cover…some $10.4 million over his four year term!
Apparently there is no procedure in place to cover the security expense of the Obama home according to the Chicago Office of Legal Affairs. Although the city spokesman would not go into details, he is quoted as saying, “We’ve been assured that the federal government will fully reimburse us for all costs associated with protecting President Obama while in Chicago.”
There is no question that the leader of our country and his/her family should be protected to the nth degree. My question is: “Who should pay for the security of his home when he is not in Chicago?” Your Commander’s opinion is that the American taxpayer (here the Chicago taxpayer in particular) should not be obligated to pay for the security expense of a president’s home when not in residence. Certainly security must be maintained at a high level with the Secret Service in charge. But where ancillary expenses are concerned I believe that a president or his political party should be obligated to cover them when his home is unoccupied.
Who pays for the security of your home and mine when we are away? You and I pay our obligations and our government officials should pay theirs too. How many perks should our greedy leadership receive? No wonder they all leave office richer than when they entered office.
Why should the already financially strapped American taxpayer be expected to cover the cost of protecting a multi-millionaire’s personal home? When will the arrogance of office stop? It will only cease when you and I step forward and demand real change.