August 04, 2011
By Nile Gardiner, The Telegraph
I don’t think anyone will begrudge the president for celebrating his 50th birthday. It’s a big milestone in life that deserves to be marked. But does he need to do it in such an extravagant and insensitive style at a time of tremendous economic turmoil when tens of millions of Americans are hurting financially and nearly one in ten are out of work? Barack Obama is not a Hollywood celebrity or corporate mogul. He is a public official, paid for by the American people, and is expected to lead the country by example.
Is it really necessary to host a $35,800 a head campaign fundraiser in Chicago as the United States faces towering debts and the possibility of a double-dip recession? Details of the event emerged today in several US papers, including this report in The Washington Post:
Good thing that debt-ceiling tussling is over. Now begins President Obama’s 50th-birthday week, with lots of fundraising fun and plenty of recruiting for the 2012 reelection campaign.
There is the gala fundraiser Wednesday night in Chicago at the Aragon Ballroom featuring stars from that city — maybe Jennifer Hudson , Herbie Hancock and others. There’s also a dinner fundraiser planned for some high rollers for only $35,800 a person. (Must be serving some really good grub.)
For America’s ruling liberal elites there is clearly no age of austerity, but there is undoubtedly an air of impunity with a rather vulgar let them eat cake mentality. I very much doubt the British prime minister would even dream of holding this kind of ostentatious bash on his upcoming 45th birthday while at the same time telling the British people they must be prepared to make historic sacrifices to restore the economy. And undoubtedly there will be significant costs to the American taxpayer with the intense security involved in these large-scale presidential events.
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