Paid for by you, the taxpayer

Paid for by you, the taxpayer

August 1, 2010 Posted by Chris Cinquemani - No Comments

When Congress passed the president’s health care takeover last March, many thought Americans would learn to love it.  But heading into the midterm elections, a key voting bloc remains unconvinced, and that has the Obama administration scared and reaching for the federal checkbook.

A July 30 Politico article reports that two polls find support for health care reform among seniors dangerously low for the president and his Democrat party.  After expending almost all of his Party’s political capital on an unpopular policy among seniors, the White House has launched one of its famous public relations blitzes, paid for by you, the American taxpayer.

Even though the battle to pass health care reform is over, the administration is taking to the airwaves with a 30-second TV spot to sell the plan to this holy grail of voters—at a cost of $700,000 of our money.

Click the picture to see 84-year-old Andy Griffith, the loveable Sheriff of Mayberry, throwing his support behind the president’s plan—five months after it passed in Congress:

This is a politically savvy move by the administration.  In 2008, Obama won just 45 percent of the 65-and-older vote.  Democrats, whose midterm election prospects look bleak, are rightly concerned with seniors’ lack of enthusiasm for health care reform.  The president is also eager to retain what support he has among seniors as he prepares for what may be a daunting reelection bid.

But should our tax dollars be used for such political pandering?  $700,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to our $13.3 trillion national debt, but the president’s freewheeling approach to spending our tax dollars is quite revealing.

This isn’t the first time this administration used taxpayer funds to pat itself on the back.

In April 2009, the administration caused panic in the streets of New York City with an Air Force One photo-op involving low-flying fighter jets not far from Ground Zero—at a cost to taxpayers of $328,835.

(Photo from the Wall Street Journal)

And remember the president’s $850 billion stimulus plan?  The president still counts its passage as one of his chief accomplishments.  He makes no secret of that.  Here’s a picture taken a few months back of one such sign in the Bangor:

These self-congratulating eyesores carry a hefty price tag.  Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock, sponsor of a bill to prohibit such highway propagandizing, estimates the cost of these signs at $20 million nationally.

We all like to be recognized for our achievements.  And most of us like to be, well, liked.  So we can’t blame the president for wanting to up his favorability ratings.  But the president’s quest for approval should not be subsidized by our hard-earned tax dollars.

I’d bet the president would make a lot more friends if he took the millions his administration spends on propaganda and returned it to its rightful owners.  I know this taxpayer would appreciate it.