Pat Buchanan

The sense of entitlement appears to extend to the Obama family.

In 2010, at the bottom of the Great Recession, Michelle Obama, accompanied by daughter Sasha and friends, took Air force Two to Spain for a lavish vacation. The first lady paid for her stay at a five-star hotel in Marbella, but the cost of flying her there and moving her about, with scores of Secret Service agents, had to run into the millions.

And the trip came at a time when President Obama was instructing the nation on the need to sacrifice and the number of Americans on food stamps was setting a new record every month.

How many so-called "1 percenters" project a lifestyle as lavish?

Last December, flying out of the District of Columbia in separate planes, the first couple took a two-week Christmas vacation at a resort in Hawaii, the taxpayers' cost of which has been estimated at $4 million. Winters in Hawaii, summers in the Vineyard, and with it all subsidized by taxpayers?

What kind of example is this? Where is the spirit of sacrifice here?

Is this the same president who talks about having inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s?

Lately, we learned that Leon Panetta, in the 10 months he has been secretary of defense, has spent $860,000 of taxpayers' money on 27 separate trips to his home in Monterey, Calif.

Curing Leon of his homesickness is getting expensive.

What all of the above reveals is how the Party of Government views the government. They see its perks, privileges and power as their entitlements, their inheritance, their patrimony.

And there is some truth to that.

After all, the bureaucracy was built up in the New Deal and Great Society, and remains dyed-in-the-wool Democratic.

Even when the GOP wins the White House, the conservatives are outsiders in this city. Even when Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan won their 49-state landslides, neither came even close to carrying Washington, D.C., the sole Electoral College precinct that has never gone Republican.

While John McCain lost the nation by eight points to Obama, he lost Washington, D.C., by 86 points. This is Obama's town. He owns it.

But if a noxious aroma of self-indulgence and corruption is arising from it, it is Obama's problem, and it is no longer a small one.


Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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