Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mayor Daley Wants Obama to Feel Your Pain

'Scuse me, can you spare $24,000 for a Gulfstream jet ride for my date night? More hypocrisy from Chicago Mayor Richard Daley on Friday, August 7, when he made a suggestion for Barack Obama. “I hope every federal employee from the president all the way down takes 15 days without pay to turn that money back to taxpayers’ use, because they’re getting laid off, they’re getting cut back, there are no jobs out there,” Daley said Friday. (Source: Chicago Sun-Times) What Daley is suggesting is simply a bad joke made in poor taste, as only an out-of-touch elitist could. It is a joke, a tragic joke, loaded with irony and hypocrisy. Mayor Daley's budgeted salary, by the way, is $216,210 (source: Chicago Tribune). Get your calculators out, folks. Barack Obama's presidential salary is $400,000 per year. An ordinary person who works 40 hours per week (eight hours for five work days) puts in a total of 2,000 hours every year. That's 50 weeks multiplied by 40 hours, with the assumption of two weeks of unpaid vacation, personal time or sick days. It's not exact, but it's close enough for this discussion: If you break down Obama's $400,000 and divide it by 2,000 hours, it comes to $200 per hour. Now, multiply 15 unpaid days by eight hours, which comes to 120 hours. At $200 per hour, it would come to $24,000 for Barack Obama to take the 15 unpaid furlough days suggested by Mayor Daley. $24,000 sounds like a lot of money to the average America, and it certainly is, but wealthy Barack Obama would still have $376,000 of his presidential salary, plus his millions already in the bank, plus residual checks for the continuing sales of his books. $24,000 figures into another story, the one about Barack and Michelle's Big Date in New York. Remember that? Rather than going out in Washington, the Obama's flew to New York in a Gulfstream jet with two other small planes following with staff and reporters. Who paid for it? You did, according to the New York Post: Taxpayers footed the bill for the big night on the town, which included orchestra seat tickets at $96.50 apiece, and at least $24,000 for each of three aircraft - including two smaller aircraft for White House staff and reporters - used for the trip, sources said. Obama's jet, a fancy Gulfstream 500, served as a more modest Air Force One for the day in place of the customary presidential 747. The NYPD refused to divulge the cost of providing security and the White House declined to say how much the trip was costing taxpayers. Isn't that nice? Barack is so generous to Michelle, especially when he's spending your money on her. Will Mayor Daley also ask Obama to forego future taxpayer funded date nights? Will Daley ask all federal employees to stop using taxpayer funded Gulfstream jets to take their spouses on fancy out-of-town date nights? Will Daley suggest that Obama reimburse the taxpayers for what can only be called a personal night out? You bet he won't, because Daley and Obama are two elitist Illinois Democrats, cut from the same rotten cloth. Talk a good game, make symbolic gestures, maybe even give up something insignificant to make it look like you're in touch with the Common Man. Now let's take a federal employee who's making $50,000 per year ($25/hour). His or her unpaid 15-day furlough would come to $3,000 leaving him/her with $47,000 before taxes. For a federal employee making $30,000, the unpaid furlough would amount to $1,800, leaving him/her with $28,200 before taxes. Both $3,000 and $1,800 also sound like a lot of money to the average American, and indeed those amounts could make the difference for many in terms of being able to pay the rent or mortgage. For the average federal employee, the unpaid furlough is a huge sacrifice, especially when you consider that very few of them have the keys to that Gulfstream 500. For Barack Obama, an unpaid 15-day furlough would not make a difference. He is, after all, wealthy from his book sales. Even before he became the president, he and wife Michelle were doing quite well, thank you very much. And that lead us to the irony and hypocrisy of Daley's suggestion to Obama. We often hear Democrats, Liberals and "Progressives" speak in favor of taxing "the rich" at higher rates than the non-rich. Why, then, is Democrat Daley proposing that wealthy Obama only sacrifice at the same rate as the average, non-wealthy federal employee. Think about it. Two weeks out of 50 equals four (4) percent of the annual work time (of 2,000 hours), so Daley is effectively suggesting that Obama and all federal employees give up four percent of their pay. Why is wealthy Obama not being asked by Democrat Daley to give up, say, eight percent of his pay? Would that be more "fair," in the same way that taxing the wealthy at a higher rate is "fair?" Furthermore, does anybody really think that a four percent reduction of federal wages will make a dent in the multi-trillion dollar deficit? It will not, of course. Will unemployed people who do not work for the federal government feel any better about their own dire situations because federal employees are made to pointlessly suffer? I doubt it. So, Mayor Daley suggested 15 unpaid days for federal employees, "from the president all the way down," in order to "turn that money back to taxpayers’ use, because they’re getting laid off, they’re getting cut back, there are no jobs out there.” If Daley and other Democrats really want to turn money back to taxpayers, they should do so directly via tax reductions, from sales taxes to income taxes to all other taxes. If Daley really wants to make symbolic gestures to the American people by way of showing empathy for their suffering, perhaps he should suggest that Obama quit his job and go stand on a street corner, cup in hand. You know, to feel the pain. To really, actually feel the pain. Cross-posted to Red County United STRAIGHTS of America Leave a Comment... Chicago News Bench RSS Feed We're on Twitter...