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Our sky is the limit Government.

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  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Just read the Dutch News paper;
    Obama received an hotel bill of about 1.5 million dollar for "one" night stay in a Brussels hotel. For this amount he got a suite of 120 square meters with a private telescope to view the panoramic scene over Brussels. A few weeks before his visit his escort stayed already in this hotel to check the surroundings. For the city of Brussels the arrival of Obama was not cheap either. The additional costs estimates were around 13 million dollars.
    Obama arrived in Belgium with a 900 people entourage, 45 vehicles and 3 freight planes.
    Why don't we get a King; the Duch Royal family costs about a tenth of the Obama indulgence. No wonder we are broke; sorry to say the "higher" in rank the more wasteful. If you live like that, how are you able to place yourself in the position of a poor Mexican immigrant making max. 6.- dollar per hour?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    You do understand that the President has absolutely zero say in this, right? It's not like he's sitting around and talking to his secretary about hotel plans. Presidential security is handled by the Secret Service and is completely outside of any President's hands. To suggest otherwise is just naive.

    And do you expect him to stay in Motel 6 or something? Who cares that he had a nice hotel suite? He's the President. Any leader of this country, from either political party, should be able to sleep comfortably and securely.

    It's easy to blame any given President for "wasting" money when he travels, but what do you expect? The United States President is a hell of a lot more powerful than any member of the Dutch Royal Family and has a much bigger target on his head. I'm quite sure the world will keep spinning and not have the potential to descend into WWIII if a member of the Dutch Royal Family were assassinated.

    Let's stop arguing about how much any President spends when they travel. If we want to talk about legitimate wasteful spending, then let's do that. There is plenty out there we can cut back on and there is plenty of money that huge corporations are sitting on in offshore tax havens that we should try to find a way to tax. Figuring out how to reign those things in will not bring about any argument from me. But arguing about how much we spend on a Presidential trip will get nothing done. The Secret Service is tasked with keeping the President safe, regardless of political party, and they should always have the budget to do so.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Dutch you are exactly right. This is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars, and it should be put out there for all Americans to see. But since most US media is still in love with Obama and still protects him, we won't hear much about this.

    To suggest that the president can't do anything about this is completely false. He could, and should, say that most if not all government agencies, including the Secret Service, cut back on some of this wasteful spending. The US president is already the most guarded person in the world and it's probably not close. Since he's the second most powerful man in the world, of course it takes a lot to ensure his safety, a lot of people, planes, a lot of money.

    But this is just overkill, and by a large margin. There's huge waste in most areas of government, and this presidential trip was certainly wasteful. If we were 17 trillion in the black, it wouldn't matter so much, but since we're 17 trillion in debt, it DOES matter.

    I have worked with and around enough of our government to know that too much is never enough for them. Why use 25 Secret Service agents when 50 would be better? Next time they'll say 75. Or 100. Better for them, that is. More personnel means more higher ranking supervisors and thus more justification for promotions. Just like everybody else, they want more, more, more. More MONEY.

    Does anyone really think that President Obama couldn't make this trip if he cut the personnel by 10%? Or 25%?

    You may be right Dutch, maybe we need a King.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Are you talking about the "liberal" media that refused to give the President the time he requested to speak to the American people about the Affordable Care Act so they could still show whatever reality television show was on that night? Or the "liberal" media that has devoted countless hours chasing scandal after false scandal in the name of ratings? The media isn't covering this because it is a non story.

    And no, the President can not do anything about it. The President can not tell the Secret Service what to do. They have an entirely different chain of command and they can over rule our Commander in Chief to do what they feel will keep him safe. He has absolutely zero say in how their budget is allocated.

    If a meeting with the G7 is wasteful, then I don't know what would consider to not be wasteful. The G7 (formerly the G8) meets every year. Why is it such a scandal this year? And if you're suggesting that our President shouldn't travel until our debt is paid off, then we will not be seeing any President travel for decades or centuries to come.

    Our Government has held debt for every single year, outside of 1835, since the Revolutionary War. Our national debt is a fraction of where it was during WWII and is still manageable if we just make some gradual adjustments to the tax code and reassess some of the spending that we do. It would also be wise to not start any more wars on the nations credit card. It's incorrect to say that our debt is unsustainable and this only shows how the far right has succeeded in convincing the American population that our nation is broke.

    As I said earlier--I agree there is huge waste in most areas of government, but you're conflating two entirely different things here. The President of either political party has a right to travel safely. And to say that he has the power to tell the Secret Service how to do their job and how many people they need to employ is nonsense. It's just not true and not how our system of Government works.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: Are you talking about the "liberal" media that refused to give the President the time he requested to speak to the American people about the Affordable Care Act so they could still show whatever reality television show was on that night? Or the "liberal" media that has devoted countless hours chasing scandal after false scandal in the name of ratings? The media isn't covering this because it is a non story.

    And no, the President can not do anything about it. The President can not tell the Secret Service what to do. They have an entirely different chain of command and they can over rule our Commander in Chief to do what they feel will keep him safe. He has absolutely zero say in how their budget is allocated.

    If a meeting with the G7 is wasteful, then I don't know what would consider to not be wasteful. The G7 (formerly the G8) meets every year. Why is it such a scandal this year? And if you're suggesting that our President shouldn't travel until our debt is paid off, then we will not be seeing any President travel for decades or centuries to come.

    Our Government has held debt for every single year, outside of 1835, since the Revolutionary War. Our national debt is a fraction of where it was during WWII and is still manageable if we just make some gradual adjustments to the tax code and reassess some of the spending that we do. It would also be wise to not start any more wars on the nations credit card. It's incorrect to say that our debt is unsustainable and this only shows how the far right has succeeded in convincing the American population that our nation is broke.

    As I said earlier--I agree there is huge waste in most areas of government, but you're conflating two entirely different things here. The President of either political party has a right to travel safely. And to say that he has the power to tell the Secret Service how to do their job and how many people they need to employ is nonsense. It's just not true and not how our system of Government works.
    Jared I guess you refuse to see the picture correctly; remember the way the Ukrainian ex-president lived; he was ousted because of it. Just like Jamesn said; are we moving in the same direction? Why do you think all this security is neccesary? My answer is simple: because we are the most hated country in the world right now. As an example, which I mentioned before; the Dutch Royal couple just mixes with the crowd and a friend of ours was together with them on a regular airline plane. No one wants to shoot them; how come.? This has nothing to do on how big a country or how small, but just your attitude as a country in the world. The total arrogance here causes that. But anyway even if they could shoot Obama, the next president is already in the starting blocks to enjoy this lifestyle. Right now we have elections here for a Republican candidate who will replace another one who used drugs and forced to step down; the adds on TV drive you nuts and cost millions ( also they blackball each other like crazy because they all are corrupt; the estimate to have this intermediate election is close to 20 million, in order to fill this postion for 3 month only; then there is the real election for these positions. Talking about waste? This cost will be added to our FL taxes. I bet as Jamesn said the waste is enormous and all over this government; should n't Obama give an example of stopping government waste? I bet the next president also will increase the spent drift (if it will be a Republican then the price tag will be even higher for sure). Wake up Jared and America. (or do you also belong to the "one" percent; so don't care?)
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    jamesn Wrote:Since he's the second most powerful man in the world, of course it takes a lot to ensure his safety...
    Just curious, who's #1?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    My argument is not whether there is waste or not. We both agree that there is. My argument is that the President has zero say when it comes to who travels with him and the amount of security that the Secret Service deem necessary. It is wrong to blame the President for something he has zero control over.

    You and I don't disagree about election law. I wish we had publicly funded elections with zero Super PAC's, Mega Donors, and unlimited soft money flowing in from every direction. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court in this country thinks otherwise and there is absolutely nothing that will be done about this for the foreseeable future. This is not what this thread is about though.

    This thread is about the cost of Obama traveling overseas and the idea that he should have stayed home because we "are broke." I tried to explain in detail that we are not broke and that our Federal debt has been far higher before. I also tried to explain that this country has been in debt since our founding save for one year in the early 1800's and that world leaders meet face to face all the time. To suggest that President Obama is just traveling the world to go on vacation is inaccurate.

    My attitude about the world is brutally realistic. I am often conflicted with my idealistic aspirations because I am fully cognizant of the way the world currently works. But to suggest that the world hates us doesn't take multiple factors into account. First and foremost, your claim is not backed up by reality. The vast majority of respondents in the most recent Pew Research "Global Attitudes Project" give America highly positive reviews. Not just that, but when asked what they thought about American Citizens, the number rose even higher.

    Outside of that, I have seen how South America looks at Americans with my own eyes for the past three months. I have traveled throughout South America and have been met with nothing but open arms. I've also witnessed how other Westerners are looked at and treated with my own eyes. Don't you think that we would get at least one dirty look or snide comment by someone if we Americans are so hated? Not just that, but why would the line to get in to America be so damn long if everyone hated us? Why would millions of people all over the world want to come live in America if everyone hated us so much? I can't imagine that Russia has a very long line of people just itching to get in.

    It's easy to say we are hated, but that doesn't mean we are. I think that most countries know that we, for all of our faults, are the best equipped to lead the world right now. If not us, then who exactly will? It's always easy to blame the guy on top. The only problem is that there's no one lined up to take the lead if we fall.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: My argument is not whether there is waste or not. We both agree that there is. My argument is that the President has zero say when it comes to who travels with him and the amount of security that the Secret Service deem necessary. It is wrong to blame the President for something he has zero control over.

    You and I don't disagree about election law. I wish we had publicly funded elections with zero Super PAC's, Mega Donors, and unlimited soft money flowing in from every direction. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court in this country thinks otherwise and there is absolutely nothing that will be done about this for the foreseeable future. This is not what this thread is about though.

    This thread is about the cost of Obama traveling overseas and the idea that he should have stayed home because we "are broke." I tried to explain in detail that we are not broke and that our Federal debt has been far higher before. I also tried to explain that this country has been in debt since our founding save for one year in the early 1800's and that world leaders meet face to face all the time. To suggest that President Obama is just traveling the world to go on vacation is inaccurate.

    My attitude about the world is brutally realistic. I am often conflicted with my idealistic aspirations because I am fully cognizant of the way the world currently works. But to suggest that the world hates us doesn't take multiple factors into account. First and foremost, your claim is not backed up by reality. The vast majority of respondents in the most recent Pew Research "Global Attitudes Project" give America highly positive reviews. Not just that, but when asked what they thought about American Citizens, the number rose even higher.

    Outside of that, I have seen how South America looks at Americans with my own eyes for the past three months. I have traveled throughout South America and have been met with nothing but open arms. I've also witnessed how other Westerners are looked at and treated with my own eyes. Don't you think that we would get at least one dirty look or snide comment by someone if we Americans are so hated? Not just that, but why would the line to get in to America be so damn long if everyone hated us? Why would millions of people all over the world want to come live in America if everyone hated us so much? I can't imagine that Russia has a very long line of people just itching to get in.

    It's easy to say we are hated, but that doesn't mean we are. I think that most countries know that we are, for all of our faults, the best equipped to lead the world right now. If not us, then who exactly will? It's always easy to blame the guy on top. The only problem is that there's no one lined up to take the lead if we fall.
    Not having been out of the country for so long, not counting Mexico or Canada, I can't speak on what other countries feelings are towards us other than what the media says, and they are usually of the protest nature, I agree with you about the line be long for access to this Nation, and we still are the Beacon of Hope for so many other countries, as far as the President and so trips cost, I see the need for extra security no matter what the cost, if the President goes on a vacation abroad it is always a diplomatic venture, whether he intends it to be or not, and I ,for one would not like the consquence's to some other Nation because of some misguided martyr's attempt at infamy by harming the President of the United States.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    sbfriedman Wrote:
    jamesn Wrote:Since he's the second most powerful man in the world, of course it takes a lot to ensure his safety...
    Just curious, who's #1?
    the Koch Bros - 1a & 1b
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    pr Wrote:
    sbfriedman Wrote:
    jamesn Wrote:Since he's the second most powerful man in the world, of course it takes a lot to ensure his safety...
    Just curious, who's #1?
    the Koch Bros - 1a & 1b
    sb who's #1? Putin, and it's not even close.

    Putin because he OWNS Obama, he has power and he uses it, Putin doesn't make empty threats like President Obama does. President Obama backs down from Putin. Obama has more power at his disposal, but by demonstrating that he will not use it, his power doesn't really mean much, does it? It just doesn't count. Drawing "Red Lines" in the sand, then doing absolutely nothing when the Red Line is crossed is proof enough for the rest of the world.

    And believe me, the rest of the world is watching.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    jamesn,
    You've spoken about Putin's power many times. I don't know how effective his "Power" is. What power does he have outside of his country ? I don't think he's respected in the international community. Russia has been in financial trouble for a very long time. They lost the cold war because they couldn't afford to continue playing. The Russian currency has been pitiful for decades. That's hurt them in international trade because nobody wanted to accept payments in their currency. He's got an awfully big country and he's the resident bully.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Tony you say ...What power does he have outside of his country?"... For one thing he has more nukes than any other country.

    ..."I don't think he's respected in the international community"...

    I agree. But he is feared. There's a difference. People know he says something and he means it, he doesn't make empty threats.

    ..."Russia has been in financial trouble for a very long time"...

    As opposed to America, which does NOT have financial trouble?

    But most of all, Putin is the most powerful person on earth because of his willingness to USE his power.

    ..."he's the resident bully"... You did get that part right.


  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    jamesn Wrote: Tony you say ...What power does he have outside of his country?"... For one thing he has more nukes than any other country.

    ..."I don't think he's respected in the international community"...

    I agree. But he is feared. There's a difference. People know he says something and he means it, he doesn't make empty threats.

    ..."Russia has been in financial trouble for a very long time"...

    As opposed to America, which does NOT have financial trouble?

    But most of all, Putin is the most powerful person on earth because of his willingness to USE his power.

    ..."he's the resident bully"... You did get that part right.


    "He's got more nukes" ? Well, that and 5.00 will get you a Latte at Starbucks. How many nukes have ever been used ? Zero.
    Yes the USA has a ton of debt. But we're in far better shape. Their currency just hit an all time low versus the dollar and the euro. Currency
    exchange rates are very important.
    His willingness to use his power ???? Against the Ukraine ???? That was brave. Last time he flexed their muscle, it was against Georgia......
    Watch out Latvia.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: My argument is not whether there is waste or not. We both agree that there is. My argument is that the President has zero say when it comes to who travels with him and the amount of security that the Secret Service deem necessary. It is wrong to blame the President for something he has zero control over.

    You and I don't disagree about election law. I wish we had publicly funded elections with zero Super PAC's, Mega Donors, and unlimited soft money flowing in from every direction. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court in this country thinks otherwise and there is absolutely nothing that will be done about this for the foreseeable future. This is not what this thread is about though.

    This thread is about the cost of Obama traveling overseas and the idea that he should have stayed home because we "are broke." I tried to explain in detail that we are not broke and that our Federal debt has been far higher before. I also tried to explain that this country has been in debt since our founding save for one year in the early 1800's and that world leaders meet face to face all the time. To suggest that President Obama is just traveling the world to go on vacation is inaccurate.

    My attitude about the world is brutally realistic. I am often conflicted with my idealistic aspirations because I am fully cognizant of the way the world currently works. But to suggest that the world hates us doesn't take multiple factors into account. First and foremost, your claim is not backed up by reality. The vast majority of respondents in the most recent Pew Research "Global Attitudes Project" give America highly positive reviews. Not just that, but when asked what they thought about American Citizens, the number rose even higher.

    Outside of that, I have seen how South America looks at Americans with my own eyes for the past three months. I have traveled throughout South America and have been met with nothing but open arms. I've also witnessed how other Westerners are looked at and treated with my own eyes. Don't you think that we would get at least one dirty look or snide comment by someone if we Americans are so hated? Not just that, but why would the line to get in to America be so damn long if everyone hated us? Why would millions of people all over the world want to come live in America if everyone hated us so much? I can't imagine that Russia has a very long line of people just itching to get in.

    It's easy to say we are hated, but that doesn't mean we are. I think that most countries know that we, for all of our faults, are the best equipped to lead the world right now. If not us, then who exactly will? It's always easy to blame the guy on top. The only problem is that there's no one lined up to take the lead if we fall.
    My point is: is n't the security and its cost way overdone? If you are well liked in this world you would not need 900 men as entourage (also your own cook? The Belgian food is a hell of a lot better than the US grub)) Since there were 7 other heads of states, with their own protection as well as the Belgian secret service; then it is certainly totally overdone.
    Sorry what is so special about "one" person who can be replaced at any time by plenty of eager candidates, who would love to spent even more. Are we a "bee" colony who do everything to please the in this case the "king" bee regardless of cost?
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    Our President Obama is under more threat than any other since JFK. For one thing, the lunatic fringe
    of the GOP are always behaving as though he is not a legitimate President, calling him a moslem or a
    Kenyan, or some other epithet not worthy of mention. By stirring up hatred among the most extreme
    bigots in the Republican Party, including their racist wing, their neo-Nazi wing, their Gun Nut wing,
    & generally brain-dead wing, they have unleashed a steady stream of violent agitators into the public
    arena, who are obsessed with stopping Obama's agenda, no matter how they have to do it.

    Since the GOP (our loyal "opposition") are responsible for increasing this threat against our President,
    then THEY should distribute some of the Koch Bros money, or other GOP billionaire, to PAY for all the
    necessary Security to protect our President from THEM. It is sad (but true) that the GOP are the most
    dangerous people in the USA at the current time. Their continuous threats to the President, plus our
    system of Democracy, are totally unforgivable, & in most nations would require stiff jail sentences.

    So if the GOP wants to complain of the high cost of govt spending, especially for the transport &
    safety of our President, then they should volunteer some donations to Security from GOP finances.
    They certainly have profited heavily from the stock market & numerous wars; they can afford it.