Obama closes the doors to America

Published 8:20 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2013

By Jett and Jamie Johnson

In regards to all White House tours being canceled “due to sequestration,” our president is acting like a spoiled teenager who didn’t get his way.

It makes absolutely no sense fiscally, politically or otherwise to close off a historic landmark simply to prove the point that sequestration actually makes a difference in the budget of the White House, Secret Service, or whatever agency President Barack Obama has pegged as to take the fall for this blunder.

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Obviously, after his doom-and-gloom road trip around America, in which he assured us impending financial ruin should the cuts go forward, he had to produce something tangibly affected by these minor cuts.

Oddly enough, he chose to bar our collective presence from one of the nation’s most important national historical symbols, the White House. He’s decided to punish the American people just to send a message to the House Republicans, who didn’t follow his orders.

NBC News, in a recent conservative estimate, established that White House tours cost the government roughly $74,000 per week. Ignoring closures, holidays and cancellations, this would mean that just over $2 million would be spent for the rest of the fiscal year to provide citizens with the opportunity to tour the home.

As a result of the sequestration, $28.7 billion must be cut from non-defense discretionary spending in 2013. The president, with this decision, has already started the process of cutting back by saving the nation about six-thousandths of a percent of that $28.7 billion.

Please don’t misinterpret our views. We strongly support government cutbacks in all areas. Our government has grown far too expansive and simply cannot keep going in the same direction. Yet taking away an opportunity for Americans to explore the great heritage of this nation is simply unacceptable.

The president just as easily could have cut back on catered meals, helicopter travel or personal staffing should he need an equivalent insignificant cut. However, this shortsighted move shows us not only that cheap political pageantry isn’t too lofty for President Obama, but also that he has lost focus on his official duties and the people he is entrusted to represent.

We’re sorry you didn’t get your way, Mr. President, but don’t take it out on us.

Jamie and Jett Johnson of Suffolk are students in the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University. Email Jamie Johnson at tjhnsn@gwu.edu. Email Jett Johnson at tjhnsn@gwu.edu.